Consistent exercise improves mental health


Teens should be encouraged to fight for their mental health and choose their own path. (Photo by Anna-Grace Medlin

Maddison Johnson, Staff Writer

Taking care of yourself is one of the most important things a person can do for themself. Whether that is skin care, working out, meditating, self care should be an important part of everyone’s days. People have many different ways of taking care of themselves, but mental health should be a  priority. Exercising is a way for some people to improve their mental health, whether or not it is going to the gym or just walking around the house.

Exercising is something everyone can do at home. Keeping your body in shape can help keep you in a good mindset. A study done by UCLA shows that 45 minutes of exercise a day delivered many benefits to a person’s mental health. Harvard also did a study that showed the effect exercise could have on a person’s mental health if done consistently. 

In the study they used Mendelian randomization. This technique uses data from two genetic databases that have hundreds of thousands of people. This allowed the experiment to have a diverse group of people and allowed the study to find that any kind of movement can keep mental illness away. In this study they saw a 26% decrease in the odds for a person to become depressed. 

Any type of exercise or movement can keep people from developing depression or a depression disorder. This study didn’t make the participants do hard workouts but just moving a little bit would help.  “ What our study would say is that any kind of movement can add up to keeping depression at bay,” said Karme Choi, who  is a clinical and research fellow at the Harvard T.H. Chan school of public health.  Exercise is something everyone can do, whether or not it is just doing laundry or going to a crossfit session.  “People who moved more, they found, had a significantly lower risk for major depressive disorder” said Choi, according to More evidence that exercise can boost mood. 

There are so many studies that show that any form of exercise will make your brain clearer and make you happier in the long run. Working out not only helps reduce depression, but it also helps reduce anxiety. Anxiety is something that one in three teenagers experience in some way. More relaxing forms of exercise have been proven to reduce anxiety. “ Aerobic exercises, including jogging, swimming, cycling, walking, gardening, and dancing, have been proven to reduce anxiety and depression,” the article Exercise for Mental Health said. The improved mood is produced due to the adrenaline from moving and increases circulation to the brain. 

Teenagers can benefit to a great degree with exercise to help their mental health. Exercising in the form of a sport can help with social interaction and as a distraction. Joining a sports team can help a person’s mental health because they have something to focus on and something that they can be committed to. When joining a sports team, relationships can be made. Having someone to talk to on the team will help a person to be better and be more invested in their sport. 

You don’t have to spend hours every day exercising but doing something even just for five minutes can help  in such a big way. Looking into different activities can help you find something that you love. Even if you hate exercising, doing something small can help a person’s  health mentally, physically, and emotionally. Exercise is beneficial in all aspects of health but more drastically will better a person’s mental health. The release of endorphins will reduce the amount of stress and help a person fight against mental health diseases.