Boosting your mental health: let's get physical.

A landmark study led by the Black Dog Institute has revealed that regular exercise of any intensity can prevent future depression – and just one hour can help.

Published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, the results show even small amounts of exercise can protect against depression, with mental health benefits seen regardless of age or gender.

As shown in the visual below, exercise can help boost serotonin, release endorphins, reduce the need for anti-depressant/anxiety medications, improve sleep, boost productivity, increase energy levels and provide an effective outlet for stress. 

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Below is a little more discussion around how exercise helps to promote these positive mental health changes/improvements:

  • Exercise is an excellent stress relief technique. Research shows that exercise can help improve cognitive function and overall mental wellbeing. When you get moving, your heart rate rises which increases blood, oxygen and glucose supply to all parts of the body including the brain. When this occurs, energy production and waste removal processes are boosted – leaving you with a clearer mind! 
  • Exercise can make you feel better, even if you’re feeling okay. 
  • Exercise makes you feel good because it releases chemicals like endorphins and serotonin that improve your mood.
  • Regular exercise can help you sleep better, and this quality sleep can help stabilise your mood. 
  • Exercise can improve your sense of control, coping ability and self-esteem. People who exercise regularly often report how good achieving a goal makes them feel. 
  • Exercise helps to boost your energy levels. 
  • Rough day at the office? Take a walk or head to the gym for a quick workout. One of the most common mental benefits of exercise is stress relief. 
  • Research shows that workers who take time for exercise on a regular basis are more productive and have more energy than their more sedentary peers.
  • Exercise can be as effective as medication for mild to moderate anxiety and depression.

Would you like to know more about the link between physical activity and mental health? Is physical inactivity, high stress or poor mental health outcomes a risk at your workplace? Chat to us today!