How Exercise Can Boost Mental Health in Young Adults


The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has impacted people’s lives very badly, especially young adults. The majority are compelled to stay and work from home. Prolonged stay at home has been affecting many people’s mental and physical health. Studies conducted recently have shown that significant toll has already been diagnosed related to emotional and mental health.

Many have been reported to be experiencing overall tension, isolation and fear. This has affected almost all age demographic. But there has been growing concerns especially with regards to those between 18 and 24 years. 75% of young adults surveyed across the globe have shown adverse behavioural or mental health symptoms.

Globally based mental health advocates and agencies have been trying to find effective support strategies to help young adults. According to health experts, seeking assistance of certified mental health professional can help overcome such challenges.

Benefits derived from regular exercise

Apart from professional intervention, daily, specific health related habits also can help improve mental health aspects. It includes response to stress, self esteem and mood. An effective way to de-stress will be to exercise regularly.  It does offer numerous physical benefits like neurological, physiological and psychological related to mental health. You may consult an experienced exercise and mental professional to know how you can derive the benefits.

How regular exercise can impact positively overall mental health, stress response and mood?

1.Enhances self-esteem

Regular exercise is known to help offer positive neurological and physiological benefits. It is linked with enhanced self-esteem. Besides this, more positive outlook can be combined with enhanced overall physical competence and body perception. This only causes young adults to feel more confident and adept.

To derive mental health benefits, young adults should practice regular exercise, but in an effective, safe and enjoyable manner. Mental health benefits derived is found to be of various intensities and frequencies. Healthy adults aging between 18 and 65 are encouraged by current industry guidelines to practice moderate-intensity exercise. It should be done for half an hour to an hour’s time, at least thrice a week. You may also opt to perform vigorous aerobic intensity exercise for about 20 minutes to an hour for at least thrice weekly. Also is recommended performing resistance training twice weekly.

2.Improves ‘feel good’ Neurotransmitters & Hormones:

By performing vigorous exercises, you can experience instant changes in your ‘feel good’ transmitters. It includes dopamine and serotonin. It impacts positively how you think, feel and act. A hormone as well as a neurotransmitter named Norepinephrine gets increased while performing exercise. It helps safeguard your brain from stress related negative impacts. Moreover by doing exercise, you can enjoy increased endogenous opioids that helps provide that overall well-being sense and lifts your mood. Such ‘endorphins’ are a major factor to that ‘runner’s high’.

3.Rewires stress response

Doing exercise daily will help you to feel great. The human body and brain recognizes exercised to be a physiological stress. It challenges almost every body system and improves heart rate. Studies have revealed that voluntary exercise can create this intentional stress on the human body. The response of sympathetic nervous system towards future stressful issues gets suppressed. There develops a relationship between primitive, reactive amygdale and logical prefrontal cortex. Regular, acute exercise can help dampen amygdale response, thereby permitting the logical prefrontal cortex in carrying out the intended tasks.

4.Alleviates depression & anxiety

Performing exercises helps release endorphins considered to be natural chemicals created by the body. It helps develop that sense of happiness. As teens do various types of exercises, they do witness significant health benefits. It helps do away with anxiety or depression. You need to exercise for half an hour several times a week. This can enhance your overall mood. If you suffer from anxiety disorder, then exercising daily can reduce associated symptoms. You will also calm down considerably. Studies have proved that it is possible to reduce anxiety sensitivity by performing moderate-to-high intensity.

5.Eliminates stress & enhances relaxation

Stress can be relieved by hitting the gym or taking a walk. Relief from stress is considered to be a common mental health advantage to be derived by doing a variety of exercises. Mental & physical stress can be managed even with simple working outs. Stressful college or school exam is likely to develop negative experience that impacts mental health significantly. On the other hand, exercise increases relaxation. It is recommended to those young adults suffering from sleep deprivation or insomnia.

6.Sharpens memory while preventing cognitive decline

Indulging in sporadic physical activities is likely to boost learning and memory. Brain development in children is associated with physical fitness level. With age, brains have a tough time to maintain or process information. The other health benefit to be derived from exercising regularly is it reduces significantly Alzheimer’s disease or other diseases later in life. Doing exercises from a very young age promote chemicals within the brain to help avoid degeneration in the brain. It is associated with learning and memory.

7.Controls addiction

It could be that you are addicted to alcohol, drug or other things that is ruining your health. Doing exercises regularly can prove to be effective and works as a distraction. It de-prioritizes cravings for these unhealthy things. Doing different types of exercises reboots your body especially if you have been experiencing negative effects of drug or alcohol abuse.

Taps creativity: Exercising regular can be beneficial to develop higher productivity and energy levels in sedentary peers. Young adults can benefit immensely health-wise from exercises. It boosts their creativity level. The best way to inculcate creative thinking and to stay motivated thoroughly is to interact with nature or exercsie outdoors.

Tips to make exercise interesting rather than compulsion

  • Find something enjoyable and stick to it. You may engage in different exciting activities.
  • Socializing: During this age, young adults prefer to expand their current social circles. You can do so within an exercise setting to make the activity more relevant and fun-filled.
  • Feel the importance: It does take some amount of time to realize the benefits of exercise. Even a single bout is likely to improve your mental health.

Hence, following the above tips can help young adults to enjoy mental health benefits from exercising.


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