Exercise and the Brain: The Mental Health Benefits of Exercise

Exercise and the Brain: The Mental Health Benefits of Exercise
It’s well known that regular exercise has numerous positive health outcomes for the body, such as strengthening the muscles, bones, heart, and lungs and helping to prevent certain diseases. One often-overlooked benefit is the impact of physical activity on mental health.

Considering the high prevalence of anxiety, depression, and other mental health conditions worldwide, countless people may benefit from the positive mental health effects of exercise.

What are the mental health benefits of exercise?

Regular exercise has been associated with a variety of mental health benefits. Here are the most common benefits that research supports.

Can relieve stress

It may be no surprise to you that regular exercise is touted as a potent stress reliever. You may have experienced this firsthand. For example, maybe you’ve come home from a brutally stressful day at work and decided to hit the gym, and suddenly you’ve felt a bit of relief. Exercise is thought to reduce stress by reducing levels of stress-related hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline.

May improve self-confidence
Another mental health benefit closely linked with exercise is improved positive personal image and self-confidence. Several studies have found that regular exercise can contribute to an improved body image and better self-compassion. Therefore, being physically active can be a great way to boost self-esteem and feel good about your body.

Can improve mood
Yet another positive mental health benefit of exercise is its effect on your overall mood. Several studies indicate that performing a regular physical activity is associated with a more positive mood and a reduction in negative thoughts. So, if you’re feeling down in the dumps, you may be one workout away from having a more positive outlook and beating mild feelings of depression.

Can promote better sleep
One commonly overlooked factor in maintaining mental health is how well you sleep at night. Although several factors affect your sleep quality, your level of physical activity appears to be particularly influential. Therefore, if you have difficulty getting enough quality sleep, incorporating regular exercise — regardless of the type — may provide great benefits.

May promote sharper memory and thinking

In addition to its numerous positive effects on mental health, exercise may positively impact your thinking and memory. Research suggests that exercising regularly can boost mental clarity and improve working memory and attention span.

For all these benefits to be achieved, maintain a good diet. Avoid fatty foods, excess sugar, and excess salt. Prioritize foods rich in fiber and vitamins. Our meals are nutritious, healthy, and delicious, made for all kinds of purposes.

Have good mental health by aligning exercise with food. Check out our menu of the week today and choose your favourites!

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