When I think of the word exercise, I think of running 5 miles, benching heavy weights, or swimming 50 laps in a pool. In my opinion, all of those activities seem very daunting. However, finding an exercise routine that you enjoy can make a positive impact on your general well-being. While therapy and medication can be helpful in improving your mental health, exercise can be a great outlet for relieving stress and anxiety. Exercise offers numerous benefits beyond physical fitness, as it plays a vital role in improving mental health and fostering a positive outlook on life. In this blog post, we will explore the powerful impact of exercise on mental health and how incorporating physical activity into our daily routines can better our wellbeing.

My relationship with exercising has been very trial and error. It is hard to find that balance between doing it because it is good for the brain and feeling like it’s a chore. Considering there are so many outlets to relieve stress, such as journaling, meditating, and eating a good meal, I find it difficult to choose something that requires me to get sweaty over all of the other options. As of recently, I have started to discover versions of exercise that fit my lifestyle and I actually enjoy engaging in such activities. Before this discovery, I was attending a fitness class religiously and really enjoyed it. However, I have noticed recently it has been too hard on my body so I needed to change up my routine. There was no sense in doing a stress relieving activity if it is going to hurt me in the long run! Now I regularly swim in the morning and take my dog on walks, which does not make me feel like I need a 3 hour nap afterwards. For those that love intense workouts, that is awesome! Like I said, it’s all about finding the exercise that works best for you.

The most significant benefits of exercise on mental health is its ability to reduce stress levels and manage anxiety. Engaging in physical activities such as jogging, yoga, or swimming helps individuals divert their focus from anxious thoughts to the present moment, promoting mindfulness and relaxation. It feels really great to get outside, breathe in fresh air, and disconnect from the world for a bit. We live in a society where we are constantly consuming media and always on the go. We forget that it is crucial to slow our bodies and minds down every so often. We have to take care of ourselves in order to prevent things such as burnout, getting sick, and feeling over-stimulated. Exercise can also help with better sleep quality, which in turn will make us feel significantly better as we function throughout the day.

Finding an exercise routine that fits in your busy schedule can be difficult and stressful. The last thing we want is to add stress to your life when we are searching for a way to relieve stress. I would encourage you, reader, to find a way to incorporate exercise into your everyday activities. That way, it won’t seem like you are having to put much effort into finding a routine. If you have a dog, maybe you walk in the morning and evening for 3o minutes. If you have a lunch break, maybe you eat your lunch and then spend the last 15 minutes doing meditative yoga. If you work from home, the new thing has been getting a standing desk and a walk pad so that you don’t have to be sitting at your desk all day. There are so many little things you can incorporate and be intentional about as you go through your day. Exercise can really make a difference in your mental health.