Physical Activity and Mental Health
Emotional and Mental Health Data Verified

Does Physical Activity Really Impact Mental Wellbeing?

Published on Mar 15, 2022 and last reviewed on Feb 03, 2023   -  5 min read


Physical activity can serve as a helpful tool in maintaining a happy mental state. Read this article to know more.


Physical health has a strong association with mental health. A very dormant lifestyle can make a person mentally weak and dull. It might be surprising for some people how physical activity could be connected to mental health. Each and every cell in the body has the power to get activated and rejuvenated with the help of physical exercises. Mild activity can help a person overcome continuous fatigue. A vigorous workout can aid in promoting the stamina and flexibility of the body.

What Happens When a Person Neglects Physical Activity for a Longer Duration?

Active people always grab attention in their surroundings, and they reflect positivity around them. In the current trends, work from home (WHF) nature and prolonged watching of television are making an individual stay in the same place for a very long time. Due to the increased focus on the work or visual objects, the person is unaware of the poor metabolism happening in the body. It is the main contributing factor for several health issues. Surprisingly, it is mental health that suffers more. Health is always a good combination of both physical and mental fitness. A mild headache or cold might interrupt the daily activities of an individual. But, poor activity can be even more dangerous and annoying. If a person tends to remain in the same place for an elaborative period, then he or she might face the following health issues. They are:

All the above conditions indicate poor immunity and stamina to fight chronic conditions. Considering all the disadvantages of poor physical health, it is essential for a person to do exercises regularly. Otherwise, there are possibilities for poor physical health to influence mental stability negatively.

How Do Endorphins Have an Effect on Mental Health?

Endorphins are the chemicals released by the body in response to pain and stress. It has a strong role in promoting the emotional wellness of the body. A person who is under depression would require a boost in their mood, and endorphins can help in this process. Exercises release endorphins and provide a positive feeling. The function of endorphins is similar to analgesic. Several positive changes have been noted in the brain when endorphins are elevated. Physical activity is also known to induce the release of other chemicals such as serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. A regular exercise regimen can elevate the levels of serotonin in the brain. In addition to this, these hormones can provide quality sleep and ideal appetite patterns. In this way, the side effects caused by depression can be reduced.

What Are the Additional Benefits of Physical Activity?

Physical exercise will help a person stay motivated in all their activities. It will help in increasing the awareness of one’s own body. Several distracting and distressing thoughts can be eliminated. It will increase the confidence level of an individual. A person can stay grounded in all situations if he is physically fit. Exercise can be more beneficial and fun if it is done in groups. A proper health instructor or trainer would guide you in performing exercises that would suit your body type. It is true that physical activity can help in maintaining the vitality of all organs. By increasing blood circulation, exercise can stimulate and make all the organs function well. In addition to physical wellness, mental health is a primary advantage that could be gained.

Why Are Physical and Mental Health Underrated?

The two concepts of physical and mental entities are underrated due to the following reasons:

  • We have not learned to adapt physical activities and brain training methods as a common habit like brushing and bathing. Even though unique methods are not required to train the brain, a simple practice like meditation is required to stay mentally healthy.

  • Sports, yoga, and meditative practices are given less importance than academics. There is no proper allotment of time for many schools and college students to indulge in these practices. Academic overload is relatively increasing their stress levels. It would be beneficial for them if they realized the fact that the stress levels would be normalized with the help of consistent physical activity and mental health training.

  • A fast-moving lifestyle makes a person give less concern to their physical and mental health. It is very rare for an individual to spend a minimum of 10 to 15 minutes for themselves. The reason for such a never-ending rush would be the peer pressures created by society.

Does Physical Inactivity Cause Disability?

Many medical reports from the World Health Organization (WHO) suggests that disability could be a common end result of the sedentary lifestyle of an individual. These reports indicate that more than two million people are known to die each year due to physical inactivity. This is a severe warning sign, and measures should be adopted to create awareness among the public so that exercise can be cultivated as a regular habit. It is sad to understand that many medical professionals are physically inactive. So, in addition to awareness, there is a need for special techniques to make exercises mandatory.

Can Physical Exercise Be Used as a Treatment Option for Mental Illness?

Physical exercises as a remedy for mental health issues are questionable. The advantages contributed to physical activities on mental health are innumerable.

Even though there are a lot of benefits, physical exercises can serve only as additional support for the betterment of mental health. Exercises can be used as a tool for enhancing or creating a good mood in a person. But, if they are suffering from severe mental illnesses like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and other depressive disorders, it is not advisable for an individual to be dependent on exercise regimens.

It is due to the fact that people who are affected by these disorders have trouble performing the exercises in a determined manner. If they are doing exercises in an irregular or inefficient manner, the actual benefits of those exercises would not be achieved. In such cases, it is essential for a person to get help from a psychologist or psychiatrist to improve their state of mental health. Several therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavioral therapy, and other psychotherapies are known to provide improving results when they are done along with regulated exercise methods.

Frequently Asked Questions


Does Physical Activity Affect Mental Health?

Physical activities help a person to stay motivated in all their activities. It helps eliminate distracting thoughts and increases confidence. It also helps in improving awareness about one's own body and health. In addition, it helps to increase the quality of sleep and brings joy and stress relief.


How Does Physical Health Affect Mental Health?

Physical health issues significantly decrease an individual's confidence and hence reduce mental health. A physically unhealthy person may become dependent and need assistance from a different person to carry out many things. Lack of independence can worsen mental health problems.


What Are the Five Benefits of Physical Activity on Mental Health?

Physical activities improve mood and reduce stress and unwanted distractions. It enhances self-esteem and brings a feeling of being energetic. It causes a person to be aware of one's body and health and increases satisfaction in oneself.


Which Is More Important, Mental Health or Physical Health?

Physical and mental health is like a chicken and egg situation. Both are interlinked, and the lack of one can worsen the other. So, a physically unhealthy person may be mentally unstable and vice versa.


Why Is Lack of Physical Activity Considered Unhealthy?

Lack of physical activity can affect the health of almost all organs and is a leading cause of heart problems. It can lead to high blood pressure, diabetes (increased blood sugar level, obesity, and high blood cholesterol. It can gradually lead to mental health issues. 


Why Does Exercise Enhance Mental Health?

Regular exercise releases feel-good hormones called endorphins. It also aids in releasing brain chemicals that reduce stress, depression, and anxiety. In addition, it improves mental well-being by enhancing self-esteem and cognitive functioning.


What Is Considered as the Barrier to Mental Health Wellness?

The main barriers to mental health wellness are social stigma, high-cost mental health management options, lack of awareness, and limited access. In addition, the inability to open up and fear of negative outcomes also plays a role.


How Do Poor Mental Health Looks Like?

The main signs of poor mental health are feeling down or sad without an underlying reason, excessive worries or fear about even silly matters, confusion, reduced ability to concentrate, mood swings, inability to mingle with friends or family, getting frustrated doing favorite activities, feeling tired, lonely or sleepy.


What Worsens the Mental Health?

Many factors play a role in worsening a person's mental health. Childhood experiences, previous mental trauma, and genetics are important factors affecting mental well-being. Genetics and family history can also cause mental problems.


What Is the Most Neglected Fitness Component?

Stretching is the most neglected component of fitness. Stretching plays an important role in the exercise program. Stretching helps the muscles to recover and also helps in increasing flexibility. Flexibility is also a neglected component in fitness. Flexibility helps in balancing the body.


How to Enhance Mental Health?

Being physically active helps in improving mental health. In addition, connecting with other people, learning new skills, and practicing meditation and breathing exercises also play a vital role. Trying to get good sleep and doing mindful and gratitude practices will also help. 

Last reviewed at:
03 Feb 2023  -  5 min read




Comprehensive Medical Second Opinion.Submit your Case

Related Questions & Answers

Grief - Causes, Symptoms, Effects, Stages, Risk Factors

Article Overview: Grief is the natural response to losing something, or someone who has formed feelings in you may make you sad and lonely. Let us see about grief in detail. Read Article

What Is Grief? Grief is the natural response to losing something or someone who you formed feelings for. You may feel sad and lonely, which can be due to the death of a loved one, loss of a job, after a breakup, or any other event that alters your life drastically. Grief can also be caused by a chro...  Read Article

Let's Fight Back Stress

Article Overview: Stress is our body's response to any kind of demand or threat. In today's time, most of us have some form of chronic stress, which is harmful. Read Article

Vandana Patidar
Vandana Patidar

What Is Stress? Stress is our body’s way of responding to any kind of demanding or threatful situation. During stress, certain hormones and chemicals get released in the body, which affects all the organs of the body and prepares us to fight back the demand. But, as we know, an excess of anything ...  Read Article

Anger Management

Article Overview: Express your anger once you are calm. Make the person understand why you were angry in an assertive and nonconfrontational way. Read Article

Seikhoo Bishnui
Seikhoo Bishnui

Everybody gets angry when you are frustrated, hurt, annoyed, or irritated. Anger is good or bad depending on how you react to it. It is a normal response as long as we deal with it in a positive way. Getting angry all the time might take a toll on your health, your state of mind, and your relationsh...  Read Article

Popular Articles Most Popular Articles

Do you have a question on Physical Activity & Mental Health or ?

Ask a Doctor Online

* guaranteed answer within 4 hours.

Disclaimer: No content published on this website is intended to be a substitute for professional medical diagnosis, advice or treatment by a trained physician. Seek advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with questions you may have regarding your symptoms and medical condition for a complete medical diagnosis. Do not delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice because of something you have read on this website. Read our Editorial Process to know how we create content for health articles and queries.