Premier League footballer reveals 4 benefits of functional nutrition MAIN

Exercise & mental health: professional footballer reveals 5 major benefits

Profesional Footballer Thomas Hal Robson-Kanu tells Healthista five ways exercise can help to boost our mental health

We all know that exercise is essential for the body, but the benefits for your mental health are just as important.

In the UK, one in four people experience mental health problems every year, and according to some studies, almost half of adults in the U.S. will experience a mental health issue in their lifetime.

However, one of the keys to treating these issues could be as simple as getting more exercise.

mental health benefits of exercise are scientifically and anecdotally proven

The numerous mental health benefits of exercise are scientifically and anecdotally proven. In some instances, exercise can be as helpful as medication and therapy.

When you start in a depressive mindset, it can be really hard to get yourself motivated, so it’s important to start small.

Some activity is better than none at all, and you can gradually build to a thorough exercise regime as you reap the benefits.

Here are five key ways getting your heart pumping can be beneficial for your mindset….

#1 An endorphin boost

Put those pills away – exercise can almost have a medicinal effect. It’s proven to boost the body’s production of endorphins as well as other ‘happy’ chemicals such as dopamine.

Endorphins can also cause feelings of euphoria. When you exercise there’s a chance that you will get a rush, called a ‘runner’s high’. These benefits can help to tackle low mood and low feelings.

Endorphins are a natural painkiller and are released from your brain and spinal cord.

Doctors will always encourage regular exercise for this reason, but some therapists even believe in trying to increase exercise before resorting to taking anti-depressant medication.

exercise for mental health woman happy exercising

#2 Increased self-esteem

This is one of the knock-on effects of regular exercise.

Whether your goal is to shift a few pounds or to build muscle tone, or just to make sure you don’t feel out of breath going up the stairs, being in better shape can help you to feel better about yourself.

Low self-esteem is very closely linked with mental health, and most Americans are unhappy with their bodies.

The way you look isn’t the only factor, but it is a huge problem for many people. Our bodies aren’t going to change overnight, which is why it is so important to maintain a regular regime of exercise.

#3 Good quality sleep

Sleep and mental health are also closely linked. If you get a poor night’s sleep, it can make it harder to regulate your mood and we all know that after a bad night’s sleep we can become irritable.

Harvard Health Publishing claims that ‘a good night’s sleep helps foster both mental and emotional resilience’.

This means that every night where we don’t get a good night’s sleep, we’re reducing our brain’s ability to cope with everyday challenges.

exercise can act as a way to reset your system

So, how does exercise help with getting a good night’s sleep? Not only does going for a run or spending an hour in the gym make us physically tired, it’s been proven to help us to regulate our circadian rhythms.

These are what help to give our days a pattern and get enough rest in the evening. Even if you’re badly out of routine, exercise can act as a way to reset your system.

Studies have shown that taking 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity each week can provide a 65 per cent improvement in your sleep quality. In turn, this makes you more mentally robust.

exercise for mental health woman asleep

#4 Better social life

This is an often overlooked method of boosting your mental health – we all have social needs that can be fulfilled by exercise.

Lots of people dread spending hours staring at a wall while running on a treadmill or using an exercise bike, but that’s not the only way to reap the benefits of getting in shape. Instead, consider joining a running club or playing a team sport.

consider joining a running club or playing a team sport

There is a clear link between a poor social life and mental health problems. Adults without an active social life are much more likely to struggle with their mental health.

Spending time with others may feel like more of an abstract benefit of exercise, but there are plenty of opportunities to turn exercise into a social activity.

As well as being better for your brain, it’s a way to ensure that you are more likely to stick with your exercise regime.

exercise for mental health women running

#5 Reduced anxiety

The endorphin release that we’ve already discussed can help those who are suffering from anxiety.

The release of happy chemicals is hugely beneficial for anxious feelings, and there are other methods you can put into practice while you exercise to experience further benefits.

Mindful running is one of these techniques. It’s a method of distracting yourself from worries and focusing on the moment, rather than letting your mind drift to the sort of concerns that can trigger your anxious thoughts.

Premier League footballer reveals 4 benefits of functional nutrition feature

If you’re looking to improve your wellbeing, mental health and general lifestyle through the means of functional nutrition, Thomas Hal Robson-Kanu suggests trying an energy-refuelling, brain fog eliminating, health-boosting Raw Turmeric Shot from The Turmeric Co.

More Healthista Content:

Coffee jitters? 5 energy boosting alternatives you need to try

7 best podcasts for a healthy mind and better mood

A nutritionist’s guide to reducing anxiety

Intermittent fasting expert reveals the real benefits of skipping breakfast

Conception: should I get an ovarian reserve test?

< Back

Also in this week’s magazine

7 ways to keep on top of your fitness routine over Christmas FEATURED
Nutrition

7 ways to keep on top of your healthy eating & fitness routine this Christmas

Worried the festive season will undo all your hard work? Healthista spoke to F45 Head Trainer Sam Gregory who reveals how to keep on top of your healthy eating and fitness routine this Xmas 

How to eat, exercise and live in sync with your menstrual cycle FEATURED
Wellness

How to eat, exercise and live in sync with your menstrual cycle

Feel like you're a slave to your menstrual cycle? P.volve trainer Alexia Acebo reveals how you can sync your periods to your workouts, meals & mood 

Looking for permanent weight loss Top dietitian says answer lies in your DNA FEATURED
Nutrition

Looking for permanent weight loss? Top dietitian says answer lies in your DNA

Registered dietitian Rachel Clarkson reveals how a DNA test can tell us exactly what we should and shouldn't be eating to look and feel our best

How to get fit at 50 - Hollywood stuntman & team GB athlete reveals 10 things you need to know FEATURED
Fitness

How to get fit at 50 – Hollywood stuntman & team GB athlete reveals 10 things you need to know

How to get fit in your 50's - Hollywood stuntman & GB athlete Nicholas Daines is in the best shape of his life. Here are 10 things he wants you to know

12 best fitness classes 2021 featured
Workouts

12 best fitness classes 2021

Finish 2021 with a bang and try out these cool and trendy fitness classes - perfect to boost immunity, let off some steam, practice your zen and uplift your mood

5 ways turmeric can help you make the most out of your workout FEATURED
Nutrition

5 ways turmeric can help you make the most out of your workouts

Is there anything turmeric can't do? Professional footballer Thomas 'Hal' Robson Kanu reveals how adding turmeric to your diet can help boost your workout

Latest Video Series

Healthista-footer

Wellness Weekly

I agree to my personal data being stored and used to receive the Healthista newsletter.

Top

STOP - Healthista needs you!


Tell us what content you want more of...

MenopauseFitness VideosPost-partum careSexual wellness