Two women - one spots the other as the uses a smith machine to lift a large barbell

We all know how good exercise is for our bodies, but with mental health being a huge part of our over-all wellbeing, what can it do for us mentally?

When we exercise a lot happens within our bodies, it gets your blood pumping, it warms your core temperature and releases loads of endorphins. Endorphins are the chemicals your body naturally produces to cope with pain or stress. They also trigger a positive feeling in your body – similar to that of morphine! All forms of exercise are shown to increase your endorphins and release this happy high in your body (sometimes referred to as the “runners high”). Especially aerobic exercise – like running, jogging or cycling – dramatically increases our blood circulation to the brain, creating even more endorphins which in turn, reduce the symptoms depression and anxiety.

Chemicals being produced in our bodies is not the only way exercise helps though, regular exercise in general can heighten our self-esteem and improve how we see ourselves. Our feelings towards our own self, play a huge role in our quality of life and mental state and this is transferred into how we feel in other aspects of our lives. The feeling of accomplishment when we set goals in exercise and achieve them is huge in boosting our mental well-being. When setting goals, it is important to set achievable ones that you know are possible. This accomplishment gives us the emotional stamina to continue into our personal lives and feel more positive. (See our ‘Setting goals’ blog for more on setting realistic goals!).

Just half an hour of exercise, 3-5 times a day, has been shown to dramatically improve symptoms of depression, anxiety and other mental health issues. Being active doesn’t mean you have to take up running or something you dislike, it’s about finding what exercise works for you and what gives you the most benefits physically AND mentally. This isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ scenario and there are many forms or paths you can go down, from cardio, to strength training and HIIT, to boxing, classes and PT’s.

Mental health is a big part of all of us and something we should look after alongside our physical bodies. If exercise can play a role in that, then why not spend a bit of time finding that right style for you and seeing which boosts your mental state the most!
We have a variety of different classes aimed at giving you a different workout experience each time. Why do you join one or two!
Team UG