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Benefits of physical exercise on mental health.

Flex those mental health muscles with exercise

Did you know that some medical professionals actually prescribe physical exercise for patients who have been diagnosed with certain mental health conditions? That’s because research has proven that although physical exercise may not be a cure, it does have several important benefits for many mental health conditions. The research even goes as far as to say that exercising regularly may even ward off mental health challenges before they start. How cool is that?

The benefits

These are some of the benefits physical activity has on both your physical and mental health:

  • Improved sleep which automatically means you mood improves!
  • Improved endurance and discipline, which means your self-esteem goes up!
  • Stress relief – no further explanation required here, what a win!
  • Increased energy and stamina that can only result in a sense of achievement – GO YOU!
  • Reduced tiredness = increased mental alertness… sharper than ever
  • Weight reduction – when you look great, you feel great!
  • Overall reduction in the severity of depression – this one’s really important!
  • Reduction in feelings of worry and fear for those who have anxiety or panic attacks
  • Improved general mental well-being overall – everyone’s a winner here!

Three excellent physical exercises for your mental health

It’s difficult to isolate only three of the best exercises. Each person is completely unique and will have different mental health requirements. For some jogging would be the best outlet, while others may feel at peace swimming or just walking quietly on their own. Then you get those who thrive in a team sport like soccer, netball, hockey, cricket or rugby. As long as you are exercising, you will feel better inside and out – this is guaranteed!

We’ve got some great suggestions to help you get started… and none of them require signing up to a gym:


  1. Put a skip in your step: skipping is a very good exercise because you can do it anywhere, any time and it costs you nothing. If you don’t have a skipping rope, you could use any rope you have around the house. Just tie knots at each end and make sure it is long enough. Always start slowly, perhaps only ten minutes a day, and as you feel fitter you can skip for longer.
  2. Practice those dance moves: this is also a cost-effective and fun way of doing exercise. If you have music that you can listen to at home, pump up your favourite jam to get you dancing for 20 minutes a day. You can also increase this time as you get fitter. Do it with friends to make it even more fun. Dance party people!
  3. Stretch for success: if you are not one for cardio and would prefer mild exercises, you could easily download some yoga, Pilates or stretching routines off the internet (there are loads on YouTube). All you need is a towel or mattress on the floor to get yourself comfortably into position. Don’t forget to play some soft, relaxing music while you stretch.

Some important points to remember before starting your exercise routine

  • Always start slowly
  • Don’t overdo it – you could really hurt yourself
  • Wear comfortable clothes and appropriate shoes – you can’t go jogging wearing tennis shoes
  • Drink water and make sure you are always hydrated
  • Keep it consistent – stick to your routine
  • If you don’t feel well stop immediately
  • Be safe and vigilant if you are on your own
  • Have fun doing it!

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