How Exercise Improves Your Mental...

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How Exercise Improves Your Mental Health

January 05, 2022

Did you do the thing where you made “exercise more” a New Years’ resolution? It can be a tough one to stick to, but we are here to support you. Exercise is incredibly good for you, physically and mentally. Multiple studies support that regular exercise is beneficial for mental health, and that when combined with regular treatment, exercise benefits people with anxiety, depression, PTSD, or who are experiencing stress.

It doesn’t have to be a lot, either. Start somewhere small, like with a brisk walk outside or a dance class – elevating your heart rate a few times per week is all it takes – make it fun, and start with something easy for you. Starting is the hardest part, once you get going you might be surprised at how much you begin to look forward to your active time!

“Exercise not only releases stress and anxiety but also stimulates us, which is helpful in the treatment of depression. For me, after being an athlete for so long, being told what to do (exercise-wise), and constantly in the gym, I really felt the lack of stimulation after graduating.

Regardless of if you played a sport, whether you chose to stop playing or graduated from it, you need to find a way to stimulate the body and mind again. What better way than regular exercise?”  – Allie DiVito, MA, LPC, CADC

Tips for staying on track with your exercise goals:

  • Pick an activity you really enjoy – if you really hate running, don’t set your sights on a half marathon. Maybe sign up for a dance class or try weight lifting instead.
  • Set a regular time and day – We are way more likely to follow through with doing any activity when it’s set in our calendar. Prioritize your exercise by making dedicated time for it in your schedule.
  • Get a buddy – Accountability increases your chances of not only doing the activity, but performing at your best. It also can take any intimidation level down a few notches if you have someone with you that can make it more fun!
  • Start small – if you haven’t had a regular exercise pattern in your life already, don’t aim to go 5 days per week. Start with 1-2 days per week for the first month and work up from there if you want to.

Need to see the research? No problem, here’s a link to a very detailed article about the benefits of exercise, broken down by some common mental health issues and their specific benefits.

Do you struggle to follow through on your goals? Maybe Life Coaching is something that you would benefit from in the new year. We are here for you.

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