Exercise isn’t just about keeping your waistline in check. It is a vital part of your mental health and can even improve symptoms in people that suffer from depression, anxiety, ADHD and more. Physical exercise can also boost your overall mood, improve sleep and relieve stress.

Exercise feeds not only the body, but the mind.

Mental and Emotional Benefits of Exercise

Exercise stimulates the brain as much as it does the body. The endorphins released while you engage in physical activity that make you feel good also enhance your ability to concentrate and stay mentally sharp.

Exercise stimulates the growth of new brain cells as well, which is vital in preventing age-related brain function problems.

Aside from making you mentally stronger, there are emotional benefits, too. People who exercise regularly are proven to have higher self-esteem. By taking care of your body you feel stronger and have a greater sense of self-worth. Even meeting the smallest of exercise goals will give you a feeling of achievement and make you feel better about yourself.

Increasing your heart rate makes you feel more energized and will help you regulate your sleep patterns to get a better night’s rest.

Exercise is also a great outlet when you are faced with challenging things in life. Used as a coping mechanism, it can reduce your stress and help you deal with challenges in a healthy way.

How Much Exercise Do You Need for Mental Health?

You don’t need as much exercise as you might think to reap the benefits for your mental and physical health. Simply getting about 30 minutes of moderate exercise at least five times per week will do the trick.

If you can’t start off with the full 30 minutes, start small. Every little bit helps, so take just 10-15 minutes per day to start and work your way up. If you can only do 10-15 minutes at a time, just do that a few times per day and you’ll get up to 30 minutes per day in no time at all.

As you train your body and mind, you’ll find it easier and easier to fit exercise into your life without feeling like it is disruptive–and you’ll feel physically and mentally stronger! Start today for a healthier you.