October is Mental Health Awareness Month. Mental health awareness is not simply about knowing about mental health issues and looking for signs, but also preventing mental health issues from escalating through dealing with triggers within yourself and others. Indeed, exercise is one method that can help improve your mental health while helping maintain your physical health. This is not to say that it cures mental health issues. However, used in conjunction with treatment options and working with a mental health professional, it can help improve the emotional quality of your life.


Exercise is a known stress reliever. People who exercise regularly handle stress better when a difficult situation arises. Through exercise, people have found methods to better cope with stress and reduce its effects and hold over the body. There is science behind this phenomenon, in that exercise is known to produce endorphins. Endorphins are chemicals within the body that, when released, act as a natural antidepressant and painkiller for the body. Typically, we hear about endorphins when a person exhibits superhuman strength to save another person. However, endorphins are also the “happy chemical” in that they not only relieve physical pain, but mental pain as well.


Studies have shown that exercise affects the mood and brain in multiple ways. The phenomenon is known as the “exercise effect.” Exercise releases several chemicals throughout the brain, such as levels of serotonin, which has a direct effect on your happiness. As a result, regular exercise has been shown to help ease the pain of depression and anxiety.

Exercise also helps build one’s self-esteem. Completing an exercise routine provides a sense of accomplishment, and can lead to being more fit and feeling better about oneself. Whether the routine last for twenty minutes a day or four hours a day, the person completing the routine has accomplished their intended goal. This sense of accomplishment combined with the increased levels of endorphins and serotonin can create a confidence that is practically invincible.

Finally, exercise has actually been shown to help those who suffer from ailments such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. While it is not a cure, it is an element of treating the symptoms to allow the sufferer to maintain some sense of normalcy, as much as possible.

If you are experiencing any mental health concerns, or simply want to relieve stress in a healthy manner, it is time to start an exercise routine designed for your particular needs. Contact the experts at Apex Personal Training at 612-405-3002 to begin your journey to a healthier and happier life. Joel Eshelman and his team will help devise the right exercise routine for you, to help get your mind and body on the right track.