Good mental health helps us to enjoy and appreciate the people and environment around us. We respond better to the stresses and challenges of daily life and maintain positive self esteem and
confidence. In addition to the direct health benefits of physical activity, several studies suggest that engaging in regular physical activity or exercise programs can also benefit a person’s mental
health (Penedo & Dahn, 2005).
Activity and exercise has many psychological benefits:
- It can help reduce anxiety. People who exercise report feeling less stressed or nervous.
- Physical exercise helps to counteract the withdrawal, inactivity and feelings of hopelessness that are a feature of depression.
- Moods such as tension fatigue and anger are all positively affected by exercise.
- Exercising can improve the way you perceive your physical condition and body image.
- Exercise can bring you into contact with other people
Mental fitness helps us to achieve and sustain a mentally healthy state;
- A realistic attitude gives us a sense of perspective and flexibility, and the resilience we need to endure shocks, hardship and change that are part of everyone’s life.
- Self-esteem and confidence comes from focusing on the qualities we have that makes us a good friend, a valued colleague, a loving parent or family member.
- Emotional support with family and friends builds support networks through which we receive help and, in turn help others.
(Mental Health Council of Australia)
Penedo, F.J & Dahn, J.R (2005) “Exercise and well-being: a review of mental and physical health benefits associated with physical activity”. Current Opinion in Psychiatry 18: 189 – 193
Mental Health Council of Australia (2006). “Be Active for Your Mental Health”. Web-site: www.mhca.org.au/aboutmentalhealth
Fax: (02) 9475 1130
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