Moving for Mental Health


Staying Consistent

It is important to stay consistent with exercising, the more consistent you are, the better results you will get, and ultimately the happier you will be.

"In the case of long term exercise programmes, improvements in the mental health of ‘normal’ individuals are either modest in magnitude or do not occur, whereas the changes for those with elevated anxiety or depression are more pronounced. Evidence from studies involving clinical samples indicates that the psychological benefits associated with exercise are comparable to gains found with standard forms of psychotherapy. Hence, for healthy individuals the principal psychological benefit of exercise may be that of prevention, whereas in those suffering from mild to moderate emotional illness exercise may function as a means of treatment."

The Overall Mental Health Benefits of Physical Activity

Physical activity is great for the body.  It increases cognitive function, improves a person’s self-image, gives people confidence, and most importantly, it decreases depression and anxiety!

"Aerobic exercises, including jogging, swimming, cycling, walking, gardening, and dancing, have been proved to reduce anxiety and depression. These improvements in mood are proposed to be caused by exercise-induced increase in blood circulation to the brain and by an influence on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and, thus, on the physiologic reactivity to stress. This physiologic influence is probably mediated by the communication of the HPA axis with several regions of the brain, including the limbic system, which controls motivation and mood; the amygdala, which generates fear in response to stress; and the hippocampus, which plays an important part in memory formation as well as in mood and motivation."

This quote demonstrates the underlying meaning behind the Self-Determination Theory (SDT).  It states that it is a person’s choice whether or not they want to do something good for themselves.  The SDT represents the motivation behind people’s choices without any outside influences getting in the way.

"Exercise improves mental health by reducing anxiety, depression, and negative mood and by improving self-esteem and cognitive function."

"Exercise increases the release and synthesis of several neurotrophic factors related to better cognitive functioning, neurogenesis, angiogenesis and plasticity."


     “In upper Bavaria, Germany, and in separate samples from the United States and Canada totaling 55,000 subjects, self-reported level of recreational physical activity correlated with better mental health, including fewer symptoms of both anxiety and depression.”