The Mental Health Benefits of Exercise from the Perspective of 3 Amazing Ladies

Video of women discussing the mental health benefits of exercise
Video taken from Elda Negrete’s YouTube Channel

This was a really cool group exercise where I asked Alex, Lindsay, and Courtney some questions about their exercise history then asked them to describe what mental health benefits they get from exercise. It was interesting to listen to the perspective of others because it revealed how universal the benefits are. Each one, however, had their own unique way of explaining how it affects their daily lives.

The American Psychological Association posted an article called The Exercise Effectin which the author, Kristen Weir, complied research on why Psychologists should prescribe exercise more often.

Photo of two people running
Photo taken from

Weir interviewed Psychologists that explain how people know the physical benefits of movement but are not quite aware of the mental benefits and psychologists have been slow to attend to. Scientists are still working out the details of just how much exercise is needed to induce the mechanisms that boosts mood. Research does show that there is profound effects though.

Researcher, James Blumenthal at Duke University, showed a strong link between mood and exercise, even just after five minutes of moderate intensity. His research has even showed that people who exercise are less depressed than people who do not. High depression scores were seen in those who stopped exercising as consistently as they had before. In 2006, Otto and colleagues investigated the effects of exercise on mental health. They determined that exercise could be a powerful intervention for depression and concluded, that clinicians should consider adding exercise to the treatment plans for their depressed patients.

Jasper Smits and Michael Otto reasoned that exercise may help people prone to panic attacks driven by anxiety become less likely to sustain a full on attack. They explained that the body produces many of the same physical reactions of flight-or-flight symptoms such as increased heart rate, sweating, and breathing rate during exercise. It was concluded that exercise is a bit like exposure therapy, where the association becomes normalized and further away from feeling like they are in any real danger.

Have feedback, thoughts, or want to share how exercise affects your mental health, let me know in the comments below!

Per this blog’s disclaimer, statements made here are not for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. All the information contained in this blog is for educational and informational use only.

Published by coachelda

Hi, I’m Elda! Personal Trainer, Powerlifting Coach, Full-Time Psychology Student...when my head is not in books, I will use this blog to share my love of exercise, exploring positive mental health practices, and other favorites with you.

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