We all know that exercise is good for the body, but did you know that it’s also good for your sleep, mood and general mental health? People who exercise regularly don’t just do it because they want to stay ‘in-shape’, but because it makes them feel good about themselves. Lots of people have started to exercise during lockdown, and are surprised at just how little stress and the sense of achievement they feel. People have said that walking ‘gives them perspective’ and helps them to ‘feel more creative’. 


Studies show that there are many benefits to exercise such as increased self-esteem, especially when new skills are acquired. As well as this, mindfulness exercises can be completed through activities such as yoga and walking. These techniques can help to reduce stress, and help you manage stressful situations in a more productive way. It can also help you to sleep better and improve working memory and cognitive functions. 


Exercise can also combat depression and has been shown to work well for older adults in groups, which may come down to its social aspects. Despite these benefits, depression can directly impact motivation and energy levels, meaning this may not be a ‘go-to strategy’ for all. As well as this, When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. These endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain that reduce your perception of pain. Endorphins also trigger a positive feeling in the body, similar to that of morphine. For example, the feeling that follows a run or workout is often described as ‘euphoric’. That feeling, known as a ‘runner's high’, can be accompanied by a positive and energizing outlook on life.

In conclusion, exercise has an overall positive effect on our mental and physical health, and should be recommended for people with mental health conditions. Even though it has these benefits, there can be some drawbacks such as over-exercising leading to injuries. However these are easily avoidable, and in moderation, exercise will improve anyone’s quality of life.