The Psychological Benefits of Regular Physical Activity


We all know that physical activity is good for our bodies, but did you know it can also be a powerful tool for boosting your mental well-being? Regular exercise has been shown to have a wide range of psychological benefits, including:

  • Reduced stress and anxiety
  • Improved mood and sleep
  • Increased self-esteem and confidence
  • Sharper focus and concentration
  • Reduced risk of depression

How Does Exercise Work It’s Magic?

Exercise triggers the release of endorphins, chemicals in the brain that have mood-lifting and pain-relieving properties. It can also help to reduce stress hormones, leading to a feeling of calm and relaxation. Physical activity also promotes better sleep, which is essential for mental health. When you’re well-rested, you’re better able to cope with stress and challenges.

The impacts of Exercise on the body and mental is explored by HOWSTUFFWORKS here:

Types of Physical Activity Recommended for Mental Wellness

The good news is that you don’t have to become a gym rat to reap the mental benefits of exercise. Even moderate-intensity activity for 30 minutes most days of the week can make a big difference.

Here are some types of physical activity that are particularly beneficial for mental health:

  • Aerobic exercise: Activities that get your heart rate up, such as running, swimming, cycling, or dancing, are a great way to reduce stress and improve mood.
  • Yoga: This mind-body practice combines physical postures, breathing exercises, and meditation. Yoga has been shown to be effective in reducing anxiety, depression, and stress.
  • Tai Chi: This gentle form of exercise combines slow, flowing movements with deep breathing. Tai Chi can help to improve mood, balance, and flexibility.
  • Pilates: This low-impact exercise program focuses on strengthening the core muscles. Pilates can help to improve posture, balance, and flexibility, and it can also be a great way to relieve stress.
  • Walking: Even a brisk walk around the block can be a mood booster. Walking is a convenient and accessible form of exercise that everyone can enjoy.

Read in-depth on how physical activity influences mental health here:

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Personal Success Stories

Let’s take look at how Frank Westcott, a former athlete benefited from exercise after putting it off for a long time

Frank Westcott: “I was a dedicated high school and college athlete and I always thought that I would effortlessly maintain that drive to be healthy and fit. However, as I moved on to the next stage of life, I found out how easy it is to let yourself go. Like most people, I went through years of raising kids and building my career, but I fell short when it came to taking care of myself. Although I did have intermittent, short term health kicks, I really struggled with maintaining a consistent lifestyle and eventually, I began having some health concerns. I decided that I really needed a change and to truly commit! I asked myself “What is it really going to take to get your health back?” I had to get moving and stay moving! To do that, two things were key: the right workout environment and a rigid routine. Being a lifetime local, I knew Crossroads was going to be the place for me to finally prioritize fitness and hiring one of their trainers would provide me the routine to assure accountability. It has been a long journey since I joined in 2014, but it has completely transformed me. Now I am 53 and I feel and look better than I have in 3 decades. My first trainer, John Ball, was with me for 9 years and he designed my workouts around my strengths and weaknesses. I owe a lot to him. When he was forced to leave the area to care for family, Riley Thwaits took over my Personal Training and we never missed a beat. I still continually see and feel noticeable improvements. Over the years, I have gotten to know the entire training staff and they are all personable and professional! Crossroads has been a major part of my recipe to build and maintain a healthy lifestyle. I have never liked the bigger corporate gyms and Crossroads has all the equipment and amenities of the corporate facilities, with a more intimate, welcoming environment. From the family atmosphere, and top notch trainers, to the abundant equipment options, steam room, sauna, hot tub, pool and two locations, Crossroads has everything that I want and need in a gym!

Exercise does not mean you make the gym or yoga studio your home. You just have to make time for yourself and focus on things that are helpful to your health and lifestyle, like running, jogging, yoga, intermittent walks, etc.

The Takeaway

Physical activity is a powerful tool that can improve your mental and physical health. If you’re looking for a way to boost your mood, reduce stress, and improve your overall well-being, consider incorporating some regular


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