Listen Live
1053rnb app
105.3 RnB Featured Video
Fitness black women portrait in a gym studio with wellness goal, motivation and empowerment vision. Diversity people team, personal trainer or sports clients happy with exercise or training progress

Source: Moyo Studio / Getty

Now, I know it’s hard to get up and go to the gym sometimes, but what if I told you that the gym could be just what you need to improve your mental health? That’s right! According to health experts, exercise can improve symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Exercise has been proven to help prevent and improve several health problems, including high blood pressure, diabetes, and arthritis. In addition, the psychological and physical benefits of working out can also help improve your mood and reduce anxiety, according to the staff at Mayo Clinic.

Woman Cross Training in a Gym

Source: RichLegg / Getty

So, how exactly does exercise help mental health?

Regular exercise helps your body release “feel-good” endorphins. These brain chemicals work to enhance your sense of well-being. While getting that extra dose of happy hormones, working out takes your mind off the worries that lead to depression and anxiety.

There are also some psychological and emotional benefits to hitting the gym:

  1. You gain confidence. Getting in shape helps you feel better about your overall appearance.
  2. You increase your socialization. Working out introduces you to a new community of people who want to better themselves. A simple smile from a fellow runner can make a difference.
  3. You healthily cope with hard things. No need to run to that snack cabinet or text that toxic ex when things get rough. Exercise is a positive way to handle emotions that alter our mental health.

What if I don’t like the gym?

Young overweight African woman exercising at home while touching her hands with her feet. .

Source: COROIMAGE / Getty

Maybe going to an actual gym isn’t your thing. Walking into Planet Fitness can be pretty intimidating when you’re just starting. Luckily, exercise can take place in many forms that don’t involve a gym. Perhaps you’ll come to find that midday strolls or pilates are your forte. Either way, the goal is to get active!

Next time you’re looking to boost your mental health, give the gym (or pilates) a try.

Written by TeAsia Royster