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The Mental Health Benefits of Exercise

Physiotherapists are always advising people to exercise. As we know from our myth buster on Monday, exercise not only provides us with lots of physical benefits but also mental health benefits.

When the initial breathlessness & fatigue settles down after a workout, it is common to feel like you have more energy & the stresses & problems we all deal with in everyday life don’t feel quite as bad. Whilst intangible, the benefits are just as important as the physical improvements.

Exercise stimulates positive endorphins, clears your head & lifts your mood. Studies have shown us that exercise can reduce your risk of depression, help you manage stress & anxiety. The research shows us that exercise is clinically proven to stimulate serotonin, your natural feel-good neurotransmitter.

If the thought of doing some general exercise is daunting & feels impossible, start slow. It only takes a few minutes of low-intensity exercise to start releasing endorphins. The key thing is to find some exercise you enjoy, because you’ll want to keep doing it. Whether it be to build friendships, calm your mind or release tension, there will be something out there for you.

How does this influence the pain problem that brought you to Physiotherapy?

As we learnt from our pain blog (Here) a few weeks ago, pain is essentially a perception that can be influenced by our mood state, thoughts & feelings. So if we generally feel better in terms of our mood & mental health, there are fewer negative psychological influencers on our pain state & thus the pain that brought us to Physiotherapy is likely to feel better.

As always, there are caveats to this & the general exercise should largely speaking not aggravate the pain that prompted Physiotherapy in the first place. It can therefore be hard to know what exercise to do or not. A thorough assessment by one of our Chartered Physiotherapists or Sports Therapist will help you to determine the right kind of general & specific exercise, guiding you in the process of feeling better, physically & mentally.

To conclude,

A healthy body = a healthy mind

For further advice, assessment & treatment, please contact us at Harbourside Physiotherapy.

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