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Exercise is key to mental health

Published on February 28, 2019

Exercise is key to mental health

Michelle Lee, BS
Exercise Physiologist
Lifestyle Health

Exercise is key to mental healthMany people exercise to improve their cardiovascular health and build muscle. But, did you know that moving more also has brain boosting benefits? Studies have shown the positive effects that physical activity can have on your mood, sleep, focus, and anxiety.

So how does exercise create these positive mental health benefits? Physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals that can ease anxiety, depression, leave you feeling more relaxed and less anxious.  Exercise also may help keep depression and anxiety from coming back once you’re feeling better.

Get inspired by the following unexpected ways moving can benefit mental health, relationships, and lead to a happy and healthier you.

  • Reduce stress
  • Improve sleep
  • Sharpen memory
  • Prevent cognitive decline
  • Improvement in quality of life

It appears that any form of exercise can help with mental wellness. Here are some examples of moderate exercise:

  • Dancing
  • Yoga
  • Biking
  • Yard work/gardening
  • Walking
  • Swimming
  • Tennis/pickleball
  • Low-impact aerobics
  • Housework
  • Golf

If you recognize that emotional comfort and support from others is important to you, physical activity in a group setting or with a friend may be beneficial.

We recognize that exercise is good for the body, but exercise can also be one of the most effective ways an individual can improve their mental health as well.

Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program.

Health information accessed through is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. We strive to present reliable, up-to-date health information on our web site and “For the Health of It” blog. However, this information is not intended for the purpose of diagnosing or prescribing. Please contact your health care provider if you have any concerns or questions about specific content that may affect your health. Log in to MyChart to send a secure message to your provider.

About the Author

Michelle Lee

Michelle Lee, BS
Exercise Physiologist
Lifestyle Health

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