5 Ways Exercise Can Help your Mental Health

Gwynedd Council

5 Ways Exercise Can Help your Mental Health

1. Reduces Stress and Alleviates Anxiety

Exercise can help you manage physical and mental stress.

Physical activity increases levels of norepinephrine, the chemical in your brain that moderates the way the brain responds to stress. So in addition to helping you burn through any existing feelings of being stressed out, exercise can help you manage your response to stressful situations  in the future.

The chemicals that brain releases during and after exercise can have a calming effect for people who experience anxiety.

2. Boosts Happy Chemicals

Endorphins, the powerful chemicals in your brain that are released during exercise, boost your spirits and create feelings of happiness, positivity and well-being.

3. Boosts Brainpower, Sharpens Memory and Prevents Cognitive Decline

Exercise can help protect the brain against cognitive decline as we age. Working out boosts the chemicals in the brain that support and prevent degeneration of the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for memory and learning. Research shows that cardiovascular exercise can create new brain cells and improve your brain’s overall performance. The same brain chemicals that boost your mood can also help you concentrate and feel mentally sharper.

4. Improves Sleep

Stress and anxiety are notorious for effecting with our ability to sleep. Regular exercise, even short bursts of movement in the day, can help you relax into a more consistent and better sleep pattern.

5. Fuels Energy, Improves Focus and Drives Productivity

People who take part in some form of physical activity on a regular basis tend to have more energy and are more productive than those people who do not. Make a plan to exercise this week. Maybe join in with one of Byw’n Iach’s live fitness classes? Your body, mind and mood will thank you!

If you need further support or help with your mental health please get in touch with the Mental Health Foundation.

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