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How Exercise Decreases Effects Of Mental Illness

by William Gist

Getting regular exercise and dieting improves physical health and physique to trim your waistline, so those jeans donʼt feel snug. However, it is not all about fitness and building muscles to impress people on Tinder.


Proper exercise and nutrition provide a sense of well-being and confidence when you have more energy every day, and your memory is so sharp that you can remember who killed Mr. Burns from The Simpsons.

But one of the main reasons you should be running those sprints is because of how helpful it is to improve mental health. If you suffer from depression, ADHD, or anxiety, a balanced diet, and regular exercise can go a long way to uplift your mood.

Exercise and Mental Health


A Stanford University study by Octavia Zahrt and Alia Crum showed that simply changing your mindset and perceptions of health benefits from exercise can help you live longer. Instead of calling an Uber all the time, why not go for a walk if the weather is nice? Even low-intensity exercises can reap many health benefits, and you do not have to spend a long time at the gym.

Everybody knows the physical benefits of exercise, such as weight loss, low blood pressure, reduced diabetes, and higher levels of energy. Many people do not realize the psychological advantages of working out at the gym or outdoors, even for a short time.

Depression and Anxiety


Exercise reduces the symptoms of depression and anxiety by increasing the levels of endorphins produced by the brain and spinal cord. These endorphins are “Feel Good,” chemicals that can make a person feel happy and euphoric. Have you ever seen a person cross the finish line at a marathon with a frown on their face?

Marathon runners throw their hands in the air, with a wide grin while running like the wind to tear through the ribbon. If you are busy, you can schedule a short twenty-minute workout per day, and that would give those endorphins a decent boost. Exercise is also a fantastic alternative if people want to avoid medication. Let those natural chemicals awaken while you break a sweat and listen to “Eye of the tiger.”



Exercise reduces stress levels by increasing the heart rate, which reverses stress-induced damage to the brain. This is done with the production of neurohormones such as norepinephrine. These hormones improve cognition and uplift your mood, but they also help you think more clearly during stressful situations.

Your bodyʼs central and sympathetic nervous systems will also communicate better with each other, and this enhances the way you deal with stress. Your boss will admire your newfound ability to handle a lot of pressure and your poker face will be better than Lady Gagaʼs.



Who wouldnʼt feel happy if they had abs and biceps like the actors in Marvel movies? When it comes to mental health, it isnʼt just about the muscles alone. It is the boost of confidence when you start getting compliments from people while wearing clothes that you never thought you could ever pull off.

Instead of avoiding your reflection, you will pose in front of every mirror to take selfies. Then you will post them online and gain even more confidence from people following you on social media asking for fitness advice. Also, the ability to climb several flights of stairs without losing your breath can boost a lot of self-esteem and enrich the body, mind, and spirit because you feel stronger than ever.

Diet and Mental Health

That incredible runnerʼs high will not last if you come home and tuck into a large pizza and a gallon of ice cream during a Netflix series. A nutritionally balanced diet is essential to improve mental health and increase positive energy. Your brain requires a constant supply of high-quality fuel to run efficiently and make you feel happy. Harvard Medical Schoolʼs Health Publishing states that diets high in refined sugar are harmful to the brain and can repress the bodyʼs regulation of natural insulin. They also increase stress levels and damage inflammatory cells that are circling within the brain, causing tissue injury.


Eating the wrong food can reduce serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter that is a mood booster and helps you sleep better. The majority of serotonin is produced in the gastrointestinal tract, which consists of millions of nerve cells. These are useful for digesting food, but they also affect peopleʼs emotions because they are a form of neurons. The Mediterranean or Japanese diets are known to reduce depression because they consist of a lot of fruits, vegetables, fish, seafood, and unprocessed grains.

They also contain less refined sugars and have mostly lean meats which are very beneficial for building muscles. Vegans and Vegetarians should eat foods such as avocados, chia seeds, flaxseeds, walnuts, edamame, Brussel sprouts, or kidney beans. According to Harvard Health, these foods contain a high level of omegaa3 fatty acids which transport through brain cells and engage with mood-related molecules, with antiinflammatory purposes to relieve depression. Omega 3-fatty acids have also helped people suffering from schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, borderline personality disorder, and attention deficit disorder.

When it comes to exercising and a proper diet, there are no shortcuts, but the long term benefits are worth the change in lifestyle. While improving your mental health, you end up physically looking better, and that is always a win-win situation. People from ages 19 to 64 should always try to get at least 150 minutes of exercise a week.

This does not have to be very intensive. A regular jog on the treadmill or lifting a few light weights can improve strength and endurance, which will lead to higher endorphins. If you cannot exercise every day, you should visit your local gym at least twice a week and get your aerobic and strength exercises done. Try doing some vigorous activities to get the heart pumping in a shorter time if you cannot commit to an entire 75aminute session.

Even just 20 to 30 minutes can help because any exercise is better than none. Make sure to eat a balanced diet and avoid junk foods that contain a lot of refined sugars and unhealthy fats. Both diet and exercise are necessary for a positive mindset and a healthier lifestyle. Improve and maintain both regularly, and you will see and feel a considerable difference in no time.

Choosing The Right Gym

When it comes to choosing the best gym, always pick the one you feel most challenged, uplifted, and has proven results. The Huffington Post said, “From the moment you walk in, it should be about the energy and the experience”. Micah Morgan is an avid health professional with a strong focus on membersʼ physical and mental well-being.

He is the CEO of MMFitness in Tampa, Florida, which has a stellar reputation for providing all the tools you need to live your best life, starting from any fitness level. It is never too late to get in shape. You will feel instantly motivated because MMFitness personal trainers are dedicated to every member with an experience where no stone is unturned when it comes to taking care of your mind, body, and spirit.

If you canʼt make it to his gym, he also offers an online training program complete with a nutrition guide and weekly check-ins, private forum access, meal planning, and food logs, for more information click here.  It is only a matter of time before you will become the happiest person while looking great naked.