Exercise & Mental Health

Keeping active not only improves your physical health, it can have an amazing effect on your mental health too. On top of heart strength, respiratory & circulatory regulation and weight control, regular exercise will help you sleep, relax and feel better all round. We’re not saying exercise is the miracle cure to mental health issues (you should always consult a healthcare professional if you are struggling) but it can definitely help!

Regulates Hormones

Research has shown that exercise releases chemicals in your brain that make you feel good, kind of like the happy feeling you get when you eat your favourite food. People often turn to supplements to treat hormone-related issues like stress, depression, weight gain and sleep deprivation without trying the all-natural and free alternative, regular exercise! Exercise can help to regulate your Dopamine, Serotonin, Testosterone and Estrogen levels – which is especially helpful for women experiencing menopausal symptoms.

Can help Anxiety/Depression

Physical exercise can cause chemical changes in the brain which can help to improve your mood, especially if you suffer from mild to moderate depression. The more vigorously and regularly you exercise the more often these ‘happy hormones’ are released which can have a positive effect on your overall mental health. Leading an active and healthy life can also improve your feelings of self-worth and encourage confidence building.

Better Sleep & Appetite

Exercise can tire you out, especially if you are exerting yourself regularly. Studies have shown that not only does exercise reduce the time it takes to fall asleep, it also significantly improves the quality of sleep, which can be vital for those suffering from insomnia. After a challenging workout, your body will have burned off hundreds of calories and worked up an appetite. You’ll be more encouraged to eat good, whole foods to feed your muscles and encourage recovery, which in turn has a positive effect on your body.


Having a set exercise routine is vital. You could go for one gym session or class but on its own, it won’t have a very big impact on your mental health overall. Having a routine and sticking to it is a great way to ensure exercise is just part of your day instead of being a chore. Attending classes can also help to build lasting friendships and foster a sense of belonging to a group of like-minded people. If your gym has a good social circle you can also improve your confidence and social life by attending regular extracurricular activities with new friends.

The benefits of exercise are countless and vary from person to person, some of which are:

  • less tension, stress and mental fatigue

  • a natural energy boost

  • a sense of achievement

  • focus in life and motivation

  • less anger or frustration

  • better social life

  • having fun

  • better body confidence

Although exercise isn’t always the answer to all of our problems, there’s no denying it can have a positive impact on our bodies and minds. If you’d like to join a group of like-minded people for fun, engaging workouts in a friendly atmosphere Osprey Leisure Club are happy to help. Contact our qualified trainers today to talk about your options.