Physical exercise has been shown to have a positive effect on all aspects of our wellbeing.
Exercise has been shown to help people deal with depression and anxiety and can even be used as a standalone or combined (along with medication and therapy) treatment for them. It has been shown to reduce anxiety levels in people experiencing mild symptoms, and can be used to help those diagnosed with clinical anxiety. It is also readily available, while therapy can be a lengthy process with a long waitlist.
In addition to this, it has been shown to positively impact, and also increase our self-esteem, which can help with the issues mentioned above. It can make people feel better about themselves and have more elf-worth.
As well as this, it is a mood-booster. Research has shown that people felt more content, awake and calmer immediately after exercising, compared to periods of inactivity. Interestingly, the effect was the most significant when the individual's mood was low to start with. The outcome showed that low-intensity aerobic exercise, for 30-35 minutes, 3-5 days per week for 10-12 weeks was the most effective for improving moods.
Physical activity is also a great means for relieving stress. Studies on employed adults showed that more physically active people had lower stress levels compared to those that were less active.
Exercise has also been shown to help delay a further cognitive decline in those with dementia. Cognitive decline such as attention and concentration also occurs in older people without the disease, and physical activity has been shown to help in this circumstance too. For those that have already developed dementia, there is shown to be roughly a 20-30% lower risk of depression for those who exercise daily.
To summarise, exercise has so many mental health benefits, and has been shown to improve mood and self-esteem, decrease stress, depression and anxiety, as well as delay the progression of dementia.