How Staying Active Can Boost Your Mental Health Blog THE BOD

How Staying Active Can Boost Your Mental Health

Many of us like to work up a sweat because we want to feel good, get stronger, and of course get that rockin’ bod. The good news is that a great session can do all that, plus much more! 

Regular exercise can work wonders for your mental health and wellbeing. Here are just some of the physical and mental benefits of staying active:

Better sleep

Engaging in 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day, such as walking or running, can help improve the quality of your sleep. As well as tiring your body out so it craves a restful night of sleep to replenish and restore, exercise can help to relieve your body of any stress that may be keeping you awake at night. 

Releases endorphins to boost your mood

When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. These endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain that reduce your perception of pain. Endorphins also trigger a positive feeling in the body and induce a sense of calm. Endorphins are only one of many neurotransmitters released when you exercise. Physical activity also stimulates the release of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. These brain chemicals play an important part in regulating your mood. For example, regular exercise can positively impact serotonin levels in your brain. Raising your levels of serotonin boosts your mood and overall sense of well-being.

Improves memory

Good news if you’re always forgetting where you left your car keys. Studies have shown that regular exercise can help boost memory and improve learning. A good sweaty session increases the production of cells in the hippocampus, which is responsible for memory and learning. 

Increases energy levels

Feeling uninspired and struggling to get your tasks done for the day? Try a short walk or jog in your lunch break. Studies suggest that workers who make time for regular exercise are more productive and have higher energy levels throughout the day.

Boosts self-esteem and body confidence

Regular activity is an investment in your mind, body, and soul. Whether you want to lose weight, tone up, or build muscle and strength, consistent exercise is how you’re going to smash those goals. When you hit your target weight, or get those sculpted arms you’ve always wanted, that feeling of achievement makes all the hard work worthwhile. If you’re consistent with your training, you will get results. 

Relieves stress and tension

Ever noticed how your body feels when you’re under stress? Your muscles may be tense, especially in your face, neck, and shoulders, leaving you with back or neck pain, or painful headaches.  As well as releasing endorphins in the brain, physical activity helps to relax the muscles and relieve tension in the body. Since the body and mind are so closely linked, when your body feels better so, too, will your mind. 

Increases your resilience

When faced with mental or emotional challenges in life, exercise can help you build resilience and cope in a healthy way, instead of resorting to other negative behaviours that ultimately only make your symptoms worse. Regular exercise can also help boost your immune system and reduce the impact of stress.

Reaping the mental health benefits of exercise is easier than you think. You don’t need to devote hours out of your busy day to train - just 30-minutes of moderate exercise five times a week is enough. Not sure where to start? A structured training program like THE BOD can help you crush your health and fitness goals whatever your fitness level. Sign up today to get your 7-day FREE trial.


What’s your favourite benefit of exercise? We’d love to know what motivates you to move your body - let us know in the comments below!

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