While the benefits of physical activity are well known, the relationship between exercise and mental health is often under-appreciated. Exercise has a profound impact on our mental and emotional well-being, yet its role in preventing and improving mental health is often overlooked.
The benefits of exercise on mental health are wide-ranging and well-established. Exercise has been shown to be an effective treatment for a variety of mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety, and stress. Exercise has also been shown to improve mood, reduce stress, and promote cognitive function.
In addition to its direct effects on mental health, exercise also has indirect effects. Exercise has been shown to improve sleep quality, which is a key factor in overall mental health. Exercise has also been shown to improve self-esteem and body image, which are important determinants of mental health.
The mechanisms by which exercise improves mental health are not fully understood, but are likely due to a combination of factors. Exercise has been shown to increase levels of neurotrophic factors, which are important for brain health. Exercise also promotes neuroplasticity, which is the brain’s ability to adapt and change in response to new experiences. Finally, exercise has been shown to reduce stress by improving the way the body responds to stress hormones.
While the benefits of exercise on mental health are clear, the question remains as to how much exercise is necessary to see these benefits. The answer varies depending on the individual, but the general consensus is that moderate amounts of exercise are necessary to see the full benefits. Moderate exercise is defined as 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity on most days of the week.
If you’re looking to improve your mental health, there’s no need to start running marathons. Simply adding a moderate amount of exercise to your routine can have a profound impact on your mental well-being.
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