Physical Fitness Resolutions Have Mental Benefits

Grace Bakehouse

Here in the new year many people’s resolution is to start going to gym more often or to just become more physically active throughout their day.  While many people will not stick to this resolution, those who do will experience many mental health benefits from their increased physical activity.  Yes, physical activity will obviously show physical differences; however, it is those mental benefits that can turn someone into a “gym rat.”  

According to a study conducted by Waldon University, physical activity can help decrease symptoms of depression and anxiety, decrease stress, increase self-confidence and self-esteem. As well as helping achieve better sleep and boosting your brains memory and building intelligence. Other studies have shown that by participating in cardiovascular activity you can actually create new brain cells through a process called neurogenesis. Various studies have proven that regular aerobic exercise can increase levels of serotonin and dopamine which are referred to as the “happy brain chemicals” and can improve ones mood.  Physical activity can also increase energy 

Many people go to the gym or participate in physical activity solely for the physical benefits such as increased muscle, a toned body, a lowered risk for cancer or health issues, improved flexibility and movement as well as weight loss.  However, participating in physical activity can truly help change someone’s mental health as well.  While there are many reasons to get out and exercise, a new possibly more enthralling reason is your mental health.