What impact does exercise really have on mental health?

We all know that exercise is an essential part of maintaining a healthy body, no matter how old we are, but did you know physical activity also helps improve mental health? Read on to learn more about how regular exercise can help your overall wellbeing and reduce your risk of developing certain serious conditions. 

Exercise relieves depression 

Studies show that exercising can treat mild to moderate depression as effectively as prescribed medicine – only without the burden of negative side effects. One study by the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health found just 15 minutes of running or an hour of walking reduces the risk of depression by as much as 26%. What's more, the same research found that maintaining a regular exercise schedule also helps safeguard against relapses. 

A natural remedy for anxiety 

Unfortunately, anxiety is another common mental health condition that affects many people, both young and old. Just like for depression, exercise provides a natural way to relieve the symptoms of this condition as it can ease tension and stress, giving you more energy and improving your mood through the release of endorphins, helping you feel calmer.

It can relieve stress  

When we’re stressed, it’s not uncommon to feel tense, which leads to sore joints and muscles, as well as stomach upsets, insomnia and a tight chest. The worry and discomfort of all these symptoms can then lead to even more stress and so create an endless cycle between the mind and the body. However, exercise releases endorphins and relaxes the body, relieving both the physical and mental symptoms and so helping to break the cycle. 

Helps protect against cognitive decline and dementia 

Regular physical activity has been shown to help prevent older people from developing dementia and suffering from cognitive decline. For those who already have the disease, exercise can help to slow down its development and thereby help those suffering to live a better quality of life for longer. Indeed, research has shown that adults who exercise daily have a 20% - 30% lower chance of developing dementia in later life. 

Located in Fordingbridge, Allenbrook Nursing and Residential Care Home provides an exceptional level of care in a safe, relaxed and happy environment. Our fully trained and friendly carers understand the importance exercise has on both our physical and mental health which is why we offer a variety of fun activities for all our residents. To find out more, please don’t hesitate to contact the Allenbrook team on 01425 656589 today.