Exercise has many benefits, not only for your physical health but also your mental health. In your brain, exercise stimulates chemicals that improve your mood and the parts of the brain responsible for memory and learning.
Benefits of exercise
Regular exercise can:
- help you recover from a stroke and many other illness and conditions
- help you lose weight and might be good for your self-esteem.
- make you feel better, even if you are feeling okay
- reduce the risk of illnesses like heart and lung disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, cancer, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
Mental health benefits of exercise
Exercise can have a positive impact on your mental health and mood. For example it:
- releases endorphins and serotonin that improve your mood
- helps reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation
- reduces stress and symptoms of mental health conditions like depression and anxiety,
- helps with recovery from mental health issues.
- improves sleep.
Exercise can also affect your mind by increasing:
- blood flow to the brain which helps you think more clearly
- the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for memory.
- connections between nerve cells in the brain.
Read more about exercise and mental health, and find out how much exercise you need.