Fall 2021

Exercising can be beneficial to your mental health

by Brittany Marriott

Staff Writer

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You already know how exercising can lead to a healthy lifestyle for your body. But did you know it can benefit you in so many other ways?

It helps you boost your confidence, as well as helps to reduce your stress, depression, anxiety, and more.

A lot of people ask, “How does it help your Mental Health? Good question.

Studies show that exercise is more like an anti-depressant but without side effects. Exercise is a powerful way to help your mental health. It causes changes in the brain, including neural growth and reduces inflammation. It also keeps you calm.

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People exercise because the more you push yourself, the more likely it’s going to help you relieve stress. For example, I have a friend in Plainview who is going through a bad divorce. He goes to the gym mostly every day. Asked him why he spends most of his time at the gym, he replied, “I come here not only to better myself, but as an escape from reality.” I feel that a lot of people can relate to this, because we all go through something or hit rock bottom at some point in life. In this case, this is where drugs and alcohol can come in. Some people choose to go down that route to cope with their stress and anxiety instead. But others choose to release that anger and pain somewhere else, like at the gym, avoiding drugs and alcohol.

Another thing that has been a big issue is that a lot of people put themselves out there on social media, which makes it easier for someone to compare themselves to a person who seems perfect. What I mean by this is a lot of people struggle with their image of themselves. That’s how depression and low self-esteem can develop, because they’re not happy with who they are or what they look like. People may stand and stare at themselves in front of a mirror, pointing out all their flaws.

People turn to the gym to help them lose weight or to gain more muscle, which can also help them to become more confident. I know I struggled with trying to gain weight. I would always get told I’m too skinny and how I need more muscle. So, I try to exercise daily to build up muscle mass, since I lack self-confidence. But I know a lot of people who come to a gym come because they are not happy with their self-images.

Exercising, whether at the gym or on your own, can help you in so many ways. Not only physically, but mentally too.  Everyone should love who they are, especially if you feel like you need to build self-confidence to cope with some issues. Exercising is a better way to help you instead of going to drugs and alcohol. 

Exercising should be considered as the next “powerful drug.” because of what it naturally does to help your mental health.

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