Psychological Benefits of Physical Exercise

January 27, 2019
We all know that physical exercise is good for our body. However, many people still ignore its many psychological benefits.

Physical exercise increases blood flow to the brain and gets more oxygen to it. As a result, mental function improves. Equally important is that physical exercise slows down possible brain decline associated with aging. Here we’ll reveal some of the many psychological benefits of physical exercise. So read on!

Seven Psychological Benefits of Physical Exercise

Most people start exercising to improve how they look. Another common reason for beginning exercise is physical health. But what if we told you that physical exercise is also good for your mind?

Yes, there are indeed many psychological benefits of physical exercise. For example, you can improve your memory and learning abilities, relieve stress, as well as release anxiety. But these are just a few of the psychological benefits of physical exercise.

appropriate tennis shoes

Today we’ll talk about 7 of them. Nevertheless, as has been noted, there are a lot more.

1. Physical Exercise Makes You Happier

Whenever you exercise, your body releases endorphins. These make you feel full of happiness. For this reason, exercising is highly recommended for people with depression.

Likewise, if you have problems with stress or anxiety, exercise could help release tension. This fatigues both your body and your mind. As a result of exercising, you’ll be able to relax and sleep better.

Interesting article: How to Change Your Negative Thinking

2. It Improves Self-Esteem

Another of the psychological benefits of physical exercise is that it allows you to see yourself as a healthier and happier person. This is a great boost for your self-esteem. Accordingly, you’ll value yourself more.

If you have problems accepting yourself, exercise! This will help you both see yourself in a better light and feel better. You’ll also project the best version of yourself to others.

3. It Improves Social Relationships

As we have said, there are many psychological benefits of physical exercise. These include having a better perception of yourself, feeling happy, liking yourself and valuing yourself.

In other words, you’ll have more confidence in yourself. This will in turn help you connect more deeply and easily with others. As a result, your social relationships will improve.

better social relationships as one of the psychological benefits of physical exercise

You’ll feel like participating in group activities and playing group sportsStarting a conversation with someone you don’t know will be easier for you too. All this will happen just because you’ll feel well and sociable.

This will indeed make you feel great and very positive.

4. It Prevents Mental Decline

If you’re worried about degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, then you should know that physical exercise can help you prevent them.

For this reason, between 25 and 45 years of age, you should exercise regularly. Your future self will definitely thank you.

5. It Helps Control Addictions

If you’re addicted to some sort of drug, alcohol, tobacco or anything else, one of the psychological benefits of physical exercise is that it can help to control it. Sometimes it can even help you give up your addiction completely.

How can it do that?

Addiction closely relates to dopamine. This hormone is also released during exercise. Therefore, it’s highly effective in controlling addictions.

6. It Improves Memory

If you exercise, the production of cells in the hippocampus will increase. These cells are responsible for both memory and learning. As a result, your memory will improve. Therefore, you’ll be able to learn and remember things much better.

In brief, a sedentary lifestyle is not good at all for your memory.

happy woman after exercising

Don’t miss this article: The 5 Best Memory Exercises

7. You’ll Be Much More Productive

You might think that physical exercise can make you feel more tired. You might also believe that, as a result, you’ll perform worse at work or in your other activities.

But there’s nothing farther from the truth.

Exercising will help you have a lot more energy because it’ll help keep you active throughout the day. This energy prevents the “low” times. It also improves your concentration at work.

Do you lead a sedentary life? Do you exercise regularly? These are just a few of the benefits that physical exercise can provide.

Do you feel bad? Are you productive? Think about whether exercise can help improve all of this. Sometimes something as simple as getting a bit of exercise can solve many of your problems.

How Much Exercise You Need

In order to reap the benefits we described, you should exercise 20-60 minutes 3-5 times a week. Nonetheless, if you don’t have that time or think that’s too much for your energy level, you can start with shorter sessions. You’ll still feel better.

The Type of Exercise You Need

When it comes to the type of physical exercise you should do to improve your mental health, here are some examples:

  • Running
  • Walking
  • Boxing
  • Pilates
  • Yoga
  • Swimming
  • Cycling
  • Dance

Start exercising today. You’ll keep your mind sharp. And you’ll feel blue much less often.

  • Cordero, A., Masiá, M. D., & Galve, E. (2014). Ejercicio físico y salud. Revista Espanola de Cardiologia. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.recesp.2014.04.007
  • Gruber, W. (1992). Fisiologia del ejercicio. Archiv F. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01929730
  • Jiménez, M. G., Martínez, P., Miró, E., & Sánchez, A. I. (2008). Bienestar psicológico y hábitos saludables: ¿Están asociados a la prática de ejercicio físico? International Journal of Clinical and Health Psychology. https://doi.org/10.1109/ICSICT.2010.5667623
  • Aparicio Garca-Molina, V. A., Carbonell-Baeza, A., & Delgado-Fernández, M. (2010). Beneficios de la actividad física en personas mayores. Revista Internacional de Medicina y Ciencias de La Actividad Fisica y Del Deporte. https://doi.org/ISSN: 1577-0354