Medical research statistics conducted by India’s National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS) found that nearly 15 crore Indians are in need of mental health care services, but fewer than 3 crore are seeking care. With unhealthy lifestyles, hectic work schedules, increased social media use, and loneliness taking care of your mental health is important in today’s times than ever before. Getting timely medical advice for mental health disorders is not a luxury but a necessity.

Physical activity can play an important role in improving your mental well-being and can even reduce symptoms of serious mental health conditions. Exercise isn’t just about building muscles or shedding pounds; it also has a profound impact on your mental health. The connection between physical activity and mental well-being is well-documented, with numerous studies showing that regular exercise can alleviate the symptoms of many existing mental illness.

How Exercise Promotes Positive Well-Being

Exercise can also be used to enhance well-being in already healthy people. Here is how regular exercise benefits your health:

  • Exercise decreases stress hormones
  • Keeps you away from negative thoughts
  • Exercise promotes confidence
  • Exercise provides a buffer against stress

Mental Health Benefits of Exercise

Exercise is not just about improving your fitness levels. People who exercise regularly are motivated to do so as it gives them a great sense of emotional satisfaction. Here are some benefits:

  • Exercise and Depression
    Medical research suggests that that exercise can treat mild to moderate depression effectively. Research suggests that running for 15 minutes a day or walking for an hour reduces the risk of major depression by 26%. Exercise is known to be a powerful depression fighter. Most significantly, it encourages a variety of changes in the brain, including a neuronal development, decreased inflammation, and new activity patterns that foster emotions of peace and wellbeing.
  • Exercise and Anxiety
    Exercise is a natural and effective anti-anxiety treatment. Through the release of endorphins, exercise reduces anxiety and stress, increases physical and mental vitality, and improves wellbeing.
  • Exercise and Stress
    Another mental benefit of exercise is reduced stress levels—something that can make everyone happier. Increasing your heart rate with exercise can actually reverse stress-induced brain damage by stimulating the production of neurohormones like norepinephrine, which not only enhance cognition and mood but also clear thinking muddled by stressful experiences.
  • Exercise and ADHD
    Regular exercise is one of the simplest and most efficient strategies to lessen ADHD symptoms and enhance focus, motivation, memory, and mood. The levels of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin levels in the brain rapidly increase with physical exercise, which improves your focus and attention.
  • Exercise and PTSD and trauma
    There is evidence to support the idea that paying close attention to your body and how it feels when exercising might really assist your nervous system get “unstuck” and start to emerge from the immobilization stress response that characterises PTSD or trauma. Exercises that involve cross movement and that engage both arms and legs—such as walking, running, weight training, swimming, or dancing—are some of your best choices.

Other Mental Health Benefits of Exercise

Regular physical activity plays a huge role in improving your mood and helps maintain a positive outlook in life. Regular exercise can help provide:

  • Increased energy levels
  • Sharper memory and thinking
  • Higher self-esteem
  • Better sleep
  • Stronger resilience
  • Fosters discipline

Mental health care at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital

Incorporating regular exercise into your life is a powerful tool for improving your mental health. From releasing feel-good chemicals to reducing stress and enhancing cognitive function, the benefits are wide-ranging and well-documented.

Are you or a loved one suffering from any mental health concerns such as anxiety, mood swings, sleep difficulties, depression or some phobia? Do not delay seeking help to address your mental health needs. Consult highly trained and compassionate counselors and mental health specialists at our Department of Psychiatry for further assistance. Please visit the below link for more information:

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