Exercise Makes You Happy

By: Steffie Handley

There are many people suffering from various mental health issues such as depression, anxiety and stress. This is not something they can control. This is not something they have willingly chosen to have. This is not their fault.

It can be hard nowadays to find ways of improving your mental state and making you feel more positive and happy and just have an overall good moral. Yes, some people can take things such as medications etc, but is this really the route they all have to go down?

What can I do differently if I suffer from a mental health issue?

It has actually been proven that exercises can help make a change. Not only can it help to reduce or completely rid of your symptoms, it can actually help to prevent you relapsing and suffering from the same thing again in the future. The different mental health issues exercise is proven to help include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • ADHD
  • PTSD + TraumaDSC_0436Are there any specific exercises I should focus on?

There aren’t any specific exercise types or programmes that you need to follow to feel any effects. You just do what works for you. Whether that means going on a long run, doing a bit of boxing, or just going for a little swim, if it makes you feel better than carry on doing it!

It would be hard to make up a specific exercise program as for starters, mental health issues can affect people of all different ages, different abilities and different needs. Just because I may enjoy a 30 min run followed by a few squats that don’t mean the next person will.

How does exercise actually help?

There is actually various technical but clever ways exercise can help reduce symptoms caused by mental health issues. Some of the ways exercise can help include:

  • Promotes changes in the brain that help to increase feelings such as calmness and well-being as well as helping neural growth and reducing inflammation
  • Promotes the release of our feel good hormones such as endorphins- these give us our feelings of happiness and relaxation
  • Can be used as a distraction to help reduce the continuous feed off negative thoughts causing your mental health issue i.e. in depression
  • Enhances physical and mental energy
  • Helps to reduce tension and increases relaxation in the body- when your body feels good, this makes your mind feel good too!
  • Improves concentration, motivation and memory- good for people suffering from ADHD
  • Improves your nervous system which helps reduce your immobilisation stress response in things such as PTSD and trauma

So as you can most probably gather there are loads of advantages of taking up exercise if you suffer from mental health issues.

Come and see one of our personal trainers or come to our fitness classes at Fierce Fit, we can help to improve your confidence and make you feel at ease no matter what you may be suffering with!


Steffie Handley

Steffie Handley

I graduated from University of central Lancashire with a social worker based degree, (Care, Community and Citizenship). I knew I wanted to help people but was unsure of which path to take, I found myself lost, I finished university and still not a clue what to do. During my time at university I no longer found time for physical activity, my love for food grew and my weight slowly crept up. I knew something had to change as I felt friends were moving on around me and I was stationary. This was the kickstart I needed to go on my fitness journey which has seen me shed over eight stone in weight, complete my first marathon in Geneva raising money for UNICEF, qualify as an Advanced Personal Trainer and Nutritional Advisor.

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