Mental Health Benefits Of Exercise




Mental Health Benefits Of Exercise:


What Are The Mental Health Benefits Of Exercise?


Are you struggling with your mental health? Do you feel stressed or anxious? Did you know that exercise can improve your mental health? Research has shown that exercise has a positive effect on your mental health (1). Exercise has been found to have positive effects on improving symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression. When you improve your mental and physical health you are improving your quality of life. Exercise increases your alertness and your energy, whilst promoting a more positive mood and boosting your self-esteem (2).


How do you usually feel after you’ve done exercise? Do you feel more energized, happier, and proud of yourself? Exercise makes the body boost the production of endorphins, which eases pain and stress, and the “happy hormones” dopamine and serotonin which help you feel happier and keeps your emotions stable (3). This means exercise will help boost your overall mood and mental health while improving your general health at the same time.


How Much Exercise Should I Be Doing?


How much exercise do you do on a weekly basis? The NHS recommends 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise and 75 minutes of intense activity (4). This may seem like a lot, but it can be broken down into shorter bursts of 30 minutes, five days a week. Achieving these recommendations helps to improve your health and reduces the risk of health conditions, including obesity. A report in May 2020 showed that 67% of men and 60% of women adults were overweight or obese in the UK (4). The lockdowns caused more people to spend time at home and not participate in the physical activities they once did outside the house (2).


Have you tried running before? Running is an excellent form of exercise; multiple studies have shown that running can help with obesity, type 2 diabetes, stroke, heart disease, and high blood pressure. Running can help you improve your cardiovascular fitness and be a valuable tool for weight loss (5).


How Much Exercise Should I Do Per Day?


So now you have found out about so many health benefits of exercise, just how much daily exercise should we all be doing? A study found that just 30-60 minutes per day improved people’s mental health with 43% fewer poor mental health days than those who did not exercise (6). There is, however, a thing as too much exercise with people exercising for more than 3 hours per day having worse mental health than if they hadn’t exercised at all (7). So before you start exercising, remember that the phrase “no pain, no gain” isn’t always best for your wellbeing.


How Can Probalance Help?


Here at Probalance we have a range of services from 1:1 Personal Training to group Zoom classes where you can get the support and motivation you need. It’s time for an exercise goal that goes beyond the scales and personal bests. Taking time for you and the rest will follow with professional guided support.


Written by Performance For All - find us on Instagram @wearepfa


Written and researched by Jade Mottley - Sport Scientist and MSc Human Nutrition student (Head Coach at Performance For All) and Ilektra Lampraki - Msc Marketing Student (Content Writer at Performance For All)


Edited by: Sophie O’Neill - BA Creative Writing Student (Content Writer at Performance for All)


  1. https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/

  2. https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/publications/how-to-using-exercise

  3. https://www.helpguide.org/articles/healthy-living/the-mental-health-benefits-of-exercise.htm

  4. https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/publications/statistical/statistics-on-obesity-physical-activity-and-diet/england-2020

  5. https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/running-tips-for-beginners/

  6. https://mhfaengland.org/mhfa-centre/research-and-evaluation/mental-health-statistics/

  7. https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanpsy/article/PIIS2215-0366(18)30227-X/fulltext






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