By Exercise Physiologist, Lachlan Whiting.

The benefits of regular exercise for your physical health are well known. We all know exercise can positively impact our cardiovascular health, weight management, blood sugars, cholesterol levels, bone, joint and muscle health, the list goes on. However, I want to address the SIGNIFICANT impact that regular exercise can have on your mental well-being and brain function. We have all been for a walk or run, a swim, a gym session or played sport and apart from some sore muscles, we have instantly felt better afterwards. Why is this?

Exercising your mental health muscle

Regular exercise can have enormous benefits on the following:

  • Depression symptoms
    • Exercise releases endorphins, chemicals in our brain which create feelings of happiness.
  • Reducing anxiety 
    • Research suggests that regular exercise improves our sleeping patterns, increases relaxation and assists in calming down anxiety disorders.
  • Reducing stress
    • Exercise increases the concentration of chemicals that can moderate the brain’s response to stress. 
  • Increasing energy and productivity 
    • Exercising on a regular basis is proven to increase our energy levels and make us more productive. 
  • Increase brain power and improve memory
    • Regular physical activity increases the production of cells responsible for learning and memory. Cardiovascular exercise can promote new cells that improve our overall brain performance and sharpness.