The Importance of Exercise in Mental Health

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Credit: Pexels

Sylvia Krieg, Staff Writer

 

In a world filled with busy schedules, stress, and uncertainty, it can be very hard for many people to find time to learn how to control the state of their mental health. Among many ways to relieve stress, exercise is a common outlet that is frequently overlooked with the assumption that doing so requires a trip to the gym. However, getting exercise does not require a gym membership or a world class athlete status. De-stressing can be as simple as any physical activity that fits the needs and schedule of an individual. 

 

Regardless of background, ability, and time, participating in a low stress activity has been scientifically proven to improve mental health. According to experts, the term mental health includes (but is not limited to) our emotional, psychological, and social well being. It affects how people think, feel, and act, and influences how they cope with stress, empathize with others, and make simple decisions. 

 

When talking about mental health, many people may believe that they do not have any symptoms associated with mental health issues. However, it is very important to stay mindful because people often miss subtle but important signs that could spiral into bigger problems. A significant part of our lives are spent actively contributing to the society around us. If someone is acting in an unusual way, avoids engaging with peers, and disconnects from routine activities, it could be a warning sign of a mental health issue. 

 

Exercising routinely significantly benefits a person’s physical and mental health because exercising causes the body to release feel-good endorphins which can help relieve people of their worries. According to the Mayo Clinic, endorphins are neurotransmitters that can enhance an individual’s sense of well-being. In essence, endorphins help a person increase their confidence, social interactions, and ability to cope with hardship in a healthy way. 

 

At the beginning of a newly formed routine, a person may even experience a boost of confidence and motivation that encourages them to strive towards goals. The immediate short term benefits of exercise can also include a mood boost that helps a person shift their focus off of stressful situations and instead channel it into promoting their well-being. 

 

There are many highly talented and athletic individuals who dedicate the majority of their time pushing themselves, whether for personal satisfaction or for their career. However, getting exercise does not need to be extreme for everyone. A little bit of exercise per day is just enough to maintain mental health and boost morale.