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How Does Exercise Help With Mental Health?

exercise for mental health

With the pressures and demands of today’s society continuously growing, it’s more critical than ever to make sure we’re looking after our mental health. Physical exercise has not only an impact on our physical well-being but also a significant influence on our psychological state. Express Pharmacy has explained to us some ways to enhance your mental health, as well as why staying active is so vital.

How Can Physical Activity Improve Your Mental Health?

Regular exercise has been linked to a reduced level of stress, less anxiety, and a boost in self-esteem. This means that exercise can not only aid in the prevention of mental health disorders but also assist those who already have them live their lives to the fullest.

When we work out, our bodies produce endorphins in the brain, which make us feel wonderful and raise our spirits. Exercise can induce various brain modifications, including decreasing inflammation and encouraging activity patterns that promote feelings of calmness. Here are just a few of the ways in which exercise may help with mental health:


Exercise may be a good treatment for minor to moderate depression, with research suggesting that physical activity can be just as effective as antidepressant medication. The advantage of exercise over medicine is that it has no negative effects; this is a problem for many people who require regular prescriptions. Running (or walking) for just 15 minutes each day (or one hour each day) can help to prevent major depression by 26%, as well as alleviate its symptoms.


Stress affects almost all of us at some time in our life, be it through work, family issues, money difficulties, or other environmental changes. Although stress is generally considered a mental health issue, it can also have an influence on many aspects of our physical health.

  • Headaches
  • Migraines
  • Stomach cramps
  • Nausea
  • Heart palpitations
  • Insomnia

The stress that we feel as a result of these signs may be enhanced by the discomfort and worry we experience when we’re unwell. Not only does exercise aid in the reduction of muscular strain and pain, but it can also function as a wonderful diversion from our stress, allowing us to concentrate our attention on something else for a while.

Cognitive Decline

Cognitive decline in older people can be caused by a variety of factors, including dementia. Physical activity has been proved to aid delay cognitive decline in those who are already suffering from dementia (and the main symptom of memory loss) as well as act as a protective factor against dementia. According to a number of studies, individuals who engage in daily physical activity have a 20% to 30% reduced risk of developing depression and dementia.


Sleep deprivation can have a significant impact on one’s mental health, not just in terms of how tired we are but also in terms of our attention, memory, and energy. Even a short workout in the morning and afternoon has been shown to help regulate sleep patterns and, as a result, increase sleep. You may feel emotionally sharp and energised ” ready to face the day ahead.