Regular exercise can improve your mental health, including the reduction of depression and anxiety symptoms in adults. Studies have shown that regular, low-intensity exercise, continued over long periods of time, can lead to increased release of neurotrophic proteins, which in turn can lead to better brain function and help relieve depression symptoms in some people. Exercise also improves your cardiovascular system, leading to more energy as your heart and lungs work more efficiently, making you feel more energized. While it may seem difficult to add exercise to an already busy schedule, keep in mind that any kind of exercise can provide stress relief. Exercise not only releases endorphins, which make you feel better but also can help release tensions that your body may have been holding throughout the day. Exercise can also provide an opportunity for the brain to “turn off,” resetting stresses and anxieties build up throughout the day.
Physical activity is a movement that requires the use of your muscles and burns energy and calories. There are many types of exercise and finding a style of exercise that fits your body, lifestyle, and health goals is the key to success. Before beginning an exercise regimen or making significant changes to your exercise routine, consult a doctor to ensure that the exercise is safe and appropriate for you and your individual needs. Exercise has many benefits beyond improving health. Decades of scientific research support that burning 700 to 1,000 calories per week through physical activity can have a wide range of positive impacts. These include reduced risk of developing diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and certain cancers— especially colon and breast cancers. Additionally, exercise has been shown to improve mental health, quality of sleep, quality of life, and mood.