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Mental Health Benefits of Physical Activity

March 11, 2013 by Marc Faktor, Certified Exercise Physiologist

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mental health, benefits of physical activity, exercise

Research shows that people who are active on a regular basis are better able to handle stress, have a more positive outlook, and are able to think more clearly than their less active counterparts.

Ever feel sluggish, bored, or downright blue after a few days of little to no activity? Getting moving again may help!Aside from its overwhelming physical benefits, regular activity (e.g. 30-60 minutes on most days of the week) provides numerous mental and emotional benefits which can significantly improve our daily lives.

Here are 5 benefits:

  1. Enhanced confidence, assertiveness, and self efficacy. This helps you ask for what you need, make sound decisions, and execute tasks with vigour.
  2. Increased positive mood states which drastically affects your daily life and the lives of those around you. I’m a firm believer that most accomplishments in life require a consistent positive attitude no matter what!
  3. Improved memory, greater perception (ability to notice things around you), and less confusion. These benefits foster independence and decrease our reliance on others.
  4. Decreased anxiety and depression. Fun fact, regular physical activity has been scientifically shown to be a more effective treatment of severe anxiety and depression than prescribing a second medication.
  5. Decreased anger, reduced tension and an improved ability to cope with stress. Your ability to deal with stressful and/or tense situations is drastically improved, enhancing your ability to stay calm and collected when you need to. As a result, your reactions to tough situations are enhanced.

Have questions? Need motivation to get moving? Call the Physical Activity Line toll free (1-877-725-1149) to speak with a qualified exercise professional. AND, start a discussion below and let the community know how physical activity has affected your mental and emotional wellbeing. Share and inspire others to take action!

Keep Positive, Keep Smiling, and Keep MOVING!


References & Resources:

PAL Fact Sheet: Mental & Emotional Benefits of Activity

Related Posts:

Keeping an Active and Healthy Mind

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