Exercise and its Benefits on Mental Health
Written by: CLARICE STOUT, MA
Exercise has so many benefits other than the physical parts of it and making your body healthy. There is much research on how even just moderate exercise can really help with symptoms of anxiety, depression, ADHD, and traumas. All in all, with some form of exercise it is known to help with mental health by boosting your mood, creating a better sleep pattern, and boosts self-esteem and thinking. According to Mikkelsen et al., (2017), they reprot that being in tune with your body helps your nervous system begin to move out of feeling stuck in the response of stress that goes along sometimes with trauma. Sometimes when people think or hear about exercise, they sometimes feel negative about it or they feel that all kinds exercise must be intense workouts, when in reality for mental health exercise can be simple movements or something moderate that works for the individual doing it!
There has been research that exercise can improve mood, concentration, and motivation, which in turn can help with ADHD symptoms by lowering the hyper symptom in some ways and overall helping with attention spans. According to Mikkelsen et al., (2017) they mention that with exercise it amps up serotonin levels and dopamine witch can affect focusing in positive ways, especially children and adults who are looking for tools to help with ADHD symptoms. Overall, any sort of movement is better than nothing and there is absolutely no judgement in what your movement looks like. For anxiety, depression, and stress exercise is a great tool to help lowering the negative symptoms that we do not want to feel. Having some kind of routine with movement can help our physical strength but also lower stress hormones which in turn can be connected to depression and anxiety.
Again, any kind of movement can be helpful, and you can be creative with it such as moving around the house like cleaning around the house, washing the dog or car, walking on your breaks at work, or even playing and being active with family members. For sure it would be a good idea to consult with a medical professional if you feel like trying something out of your comfort zone to make sure you are on your healthiest track. Many therapists at times may ask their clients about exercise, but many may also suggest it as a great tool to help with mental health because of all the helpful benefits that come along with it. It may sound cliché about exercise but as a friendly reminder there is much research on how it can very much boost moods and help people in changing their mindset in more positive ways that really help with their overall well-being!
Mikkelsen, Kathleen, et al. “Exercise and Mental Health.” Maturitas, vol. 106, Dec. 2017, pp. 48–56.
Written by: CLARICE STOUT, MA, IS A REGISTERED ASSOCIATE MARRIAGE AND FAMILY THERAPIST #107743, WORKING UNDER THE SUPERVISION OF DR. KARLA HEREDIA, PSYD, LICENSED MARRIAGE AND FAMILY THERAPIST 92394.