Exercise and Mental Health

Everyone knows that exercise is good for your body, but it is also good for your mind. When you exercise your brain releases feel-good chemicals, called endorphins, throughout your body. Evidence shows that regular physical activity can help improve your mood and help you feel more relaxed.

Improving your mental health through physical activity does not mean you have to become a body-builder or Olympic athlete. The goal is to just be active.

Some benefits to physical activity:

  • Decreases feelings of stress and anxiety
  • Improves sleep
  • Increases energy
  • Boosts confidence
  • Increases self-esteem

Helpful tips for incorporating physical activity into your life:

  • Start small and increase duration and frequency over time
  • Do something you like and have fun doing
  • Create a physical activity routine
  • Listen to music while you exercise
  • Exercise with a friend or group of friends

To better understand how exercise effects mental health and find ideas to help get moving:

http://campusmindworks.org/students/self_care/exercise.asp
http://depressiontoolkit.org/takecare/Exercise.asp