Does Exercise Enhance Mental Health?

It’s hardly news that exercise and fitness deliver health benefit. However, it may not be general knowledge that exercise also impacts mental health positively. The best part is that you can get all the values that fitness offers no matter how you choose to exercise – working out alone, embarking on a GTZ weight loss boot camp, or hiring the services of a personal trainer.

Exercise aids mental health improvement through various psychological and physiological effects such as the following;

  • It stimulates the release of the chemicals that trigger happy mood
  • It promotes quality sleep
  • It trains the body on how to better manage stressful situations
  • It helps build self-esteem and self-worth.

Stimulation of Endorphins and Seratonin Release

Through studies, it has been shown that exercise and fitness aid the release of two chemicals responsible for good mood. The neuropeptides known as endorphins are created by the central nervous system. These chemicals make you to feel less pain, strengthen your immune response, and promote an ecstatic sensation.

Antidepressants target the neurotransmitter Seratonin. When the chemical is released in larger quantity, it promotes the ability of exercise to ease acute depression.

Quality Sleep


Better and more sleep aided by regular exercise can enhance your mental health. It has been shown that regular workout and fitness activities can make you fall asleep faster. And, you are also able to sleep for a longer time, which will increase your sleep hours ultimately and boost your mental health.

Exercise aids longer slow wave sleep – the sleep stage known to offer the most benefit for both body repair and maintenance, and reduces the restless sleep stage which is the rapid-eye movement sleep.

In addition, quality sleep reduces the risk of depression and anxiety according to a 2006 study featured in the Journal of Sleep Research.

Also, a 2012 study featured in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology reveals that quality sleep may be an effective antidote for mood swings and energy shifts resulting from bipolar disorder.

Additional Benefits

Exercising regularly may also enhance mental capacity since an individual is able to experience a sense of accomplishment in the course of an enriching workout. Exercise can also aid you to take your mind off a stressful situation, and would lower body fat along with healthy weight loss meals.

And, when your body fat gives way for well-toned muscles and attractive body, your confidence and self-esteem will definitely soar.

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