Is Exercise the Solution to Poor Mental Health?

Topic: Psychological Issues
Words: 1002 Pages: 4

Today’s people understand that physical health might also be improved in alignment with mental health. Many studies observed the effects of continuous exercising on physical, mental, and spiritual health. Moreover, credible research provided by Harvard T.H. states, “running for 15 minutes a day or walking for an hour reduces the risk of major depression by 26%”. This statistic implies that daily walking could significantly improve individuals’ mental health. At the same time, poor mental balance is a widespread issue, so why can simple exercise not be encouraged more extensively to resolve the problem fully?

On the one hand, the psychological health benefits of exercising are often underestimated. In fact, many medical professionals prescribe physical exercise as a part of the general treatment. Consequently, the patients might experience a considerable increase in their mental health conditions, such as decreasing the intensity of disease symptoms. Indeed, physical activity is a possible way to reduce the influence of the negative mindset or partially distract from those who might enforce poor mental health symptoms. Primarily, exercising is majorly curing depression as a mental disease. While doing sport, the body instinctively releases some special endorphins, which is known as the hormone that makes individuals feel good. Endorphin is widely regarded as a ‘happy hormone’, so having a low level of production of it might signify that a person is in a strong depression. As a result, from a biological perspective, exercising and the lack of it significantly influences people’s mental balance, especially regarding depression progressiveness.

There also exists a short stress-breaking effect of regular exercising that is usually underestimated. It is empirically proven that higher serotonin levels from physical activity assist the brain in regulating certain emotions or functions, such as emotional control and sleep cycles regulation. Thus, the sport might positively affect the brain regarding the pressure alteration to physical activity. While functioning, the brain concentrates the vast majority of its capacity on the current task so that sports activity would change the focus and, thus, relieve a person from constant stress in personal life or work environment. Consequently, as well as depression, when under pressure, exercising is one of the most efficient ways to break a stress-filled cycle.

On the other hand, although the majority of research linked to the effects of exercise on mental health is positive, certain researchers and publicists suggest that exercising too much can affect your mental health in the opposite direction. In terms of professional specification, there exists an ‘overtraining’ effect on the body, which is considered one of the most dangerous diseases for any person. The main reason for such physical problems is an insufficient balance of sport and recovery, usually combined with an inappropriate diet. However, the most negative impact of such a disease is that it increases the risk of unreasonable depression.

In this case, the person would feel constant fatigue on both physical and mental levels. Consequently, exercising would lose its positive impact on brain recovery and only enforce current issues. Despite the sport’s healing exposure to mental health, exceeding activity level might overshadow the positive outcomes of exercising. People should consider advising medical professionals in both psychological and physical health specialisations to avoid overtraining. At the same time, individuals should be vigilant about other facets of their sports activity, which is majorly supported by a sufficient amount of sleeping time and a balanced food diet.

When it comes to the reasons for mental health issues in the UK, it is widely regarded that exercising might be considered as a daily routine obligation without visible effect. However, by implementing a statistical approach, it becomes evident that a low level of continuous cycles of physical activity has a significantly negative influence on the country’s health level. More specifically, it was reported that only 56.2% of adults were at least exercising once a month for 20 minutes in the UK. At the same time, German citizens demonstrated a 77.2% result within the same metrics. Consequently, there is no surprise that 15% of the adult population have been diagnosed with depression at some stage in their life in the United Kingdom, compared to only 9% of the German people.

Moreover, there is evidence that physical inactivity and consequent depression are the reason for one in six deaths in the UK (16.6%), which is statistically the same as smoking. To enforce an argument, another statistic states that about one in two (42%) of women and about one-third (34%) of men are not physically active enough for good health. As a result, this group of people is put into a risky situation so that their physical inactivity might lead to not only worsening of the situation but also some fatal outcomes. To counterbalance the current trend, the UK government provides social advertisement campaigns emphasizing the importance of an active lifestyle.

In conclusion, exercising might be a real remedy for the vast majority of mental health diseases. The body receives a certain dose of ‘happiness’ by generating endorphins during physical activity, depending on the intensiveness. As a result, from a biological perspective, the sport has a negative correlation with depression, so focusing on exercising might significantly reduce the risk of getting the disease. Simultaneously, individuals should consider the risk of insufficient activity-recovery balance, which substantially overshadows the benefits of exercising. In the case of overtraining, a person feels constant exhaustion in terms of both physical and mental health so that exercising loses its direct impact on increasing personal happiness.

While analysing the issue from the UK perspective, it becomes evident that the most significant drawback of exercising is that the average person considers regular physical activity as an unnecessary obligation. At the same time, it is statistically proven that implementing sport in the daily routine for the vast majority of the population would help to reduce the percentage of death from insufficient sports activity on the macro level. To smooth the effect of today’s issue, the government tries to promote a healthy lifestyle by emphasizing the importance of maintaining an ‘exercising’ routine.

Reference List

Anon, 2021. How To Look After Your Mental Health Using Exercise. Mental Health Foundation. Web.

Anon, Depression Rates By Country 2022. Depression rates by country 2022. Web.

Doward, J., 2013. Britons’ Exercise Levels Are ‘Shockingly Low’. The Guardian. Web.

Ducharme, J., 2018. Exercise Is Good for Your Mental Health-But Only to A Point. Time. Web.

Lancet, 2018. Exercise Linked to Improved Mental Health, But More May Not Always Be Better. ScienceDaily. Web.

Office for Health Improvement and Disparities, 2019. Physical Activity: Applying All Our Health. GOV.UK. Web.

Ratey, J.J., 2019. Can Exercise Help Treat Anxiety?Harvard Health. Web.

Robinson, L., 2022. The mental health benefits of exercise. HelpGuide. Web.

Star, K., 2021. The mental health benefits of physical exercise. Verywell Mind. Web.

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