Psychological Benefits Of Exercise

For your body and mind, sports are an ally that you should always use. Don't miss the opportunity to practice the sports that you love, to enjoy huge psychological benefits.
Psychological Benefits Of Exercise

Last update: 11 December, 2018

Psychology is defined as the study of mental processes and behaviors. The environment that surrounds us and the things we do influence our psychological state. Therefore, it’s advisable to have  situations that benefit us psychologically, to maintain a good state of mental health.

On the other hand, exercise is defined as a physical activity, game or competition, whose practice involves workout and compliance with standards. Now, sports are clearly a physical activity, but they also have, as with everything, an effect on the psychological processes. Keep reading to discover the psychological benefits of playing sports!

It makes you happy

We refer to a benefit as anything or any action that improves an experience. Exercise makes you happy and this means it has a very important psychological benefit. This is due to the release of endorphins. A chemical substance, the brain releases endorphins, producing a sensation of pleasure.

Psychological benefits of exercising, woman stretching.

Thus, they not only give you a happy feeling, but they also give you balance and mental stability. Exercise is a recreational activity. It acts as a means of distraction or even to drain problematic situations, stress, mental fatigue, and others.

Give strength to your spirit

Sports provide emotional and spiritual growth. This happens when you advance your skills of the exercise as you practice more. You improve and you reach goals, which sometimes people aren’t even aware they can achieve. Then, this happens with other circumstances too. The fact of seeing everything you can achieve through training provides the same feeling and the same strength to face situations in life.

Improve coordination

Humans have something called muscle memory. This refers to our muscles remembering activities performed in the past. Therefore, the skills are acquired when doing sports work.

Psychological benefits of exercising, woman working out with bosu ball.

Likewise, it creates a connection between the mind and the body. That is the bond of knowing your body is strengthened. It reinforces the bond of knowing what you are able to demand from your body, and it develops motor coordination.

Goodbye bad memory

Sports exercise parts of the brain that stimulate the cognitive process and increase the production of cells in the hippocampus, which are responsible for memory and learning. Also, by stimulating the cognitive process, they can help to prevent diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.

Even the professor of cognitive neuroscience, G. Fernandez at Radboud University, advises that performing a physical activity after four hours of studying, improves the consolidation of information in memory. So you can also take advantage of that valuable benefit.

Combat negative moods

Sports enrich the physical state and improve the health and aesthetics of the body. In this sense, these benefits then cause other benefits. These are:

  • Increase in self-esteem. Thanks to the changes that sports provide to the body, such as weight loss, muscle definition, a slender figure, and others. We also increase the acceptance of our body and remove thoughts of low self-esteem.
  • Stop anxiety. Physical activity increases blood flow and oxygenates the brain. By oxygenating the brain, it provides a sense of tranquility and fullness. In this way, anxiety is channeled into the exercise.
  • Stop depression. Thanks to the release of endorphins, the mood is improved, thus avoiding a depressive state. In addition, depending on the exercise you’re doing, you can socialize with other people. Therefore, when socializing, emotional health improves and gives way to new friendships.
Psychological benefits of running in couple.

No more stress

Some people think that sports will exhaust them mentally. This is not the case. On the contrary, after performing a physical activity, a neurotransmitter called noradrenaline is released. This neurotransmitter is associated with the production of serotonin and even dopamine, which help the brain to avoid stress. Also, they collaborate to maintain good sleep.

If you have doubts about starting sports, abandon them and start! Sports is one of the best things that could happen to you in life. Take advantage of it because it’s vital that we enjoy good mental health. As you have been able to learn, sports play a significant role in mental well-being.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Anderson, E., & Shivakumar, G. (2013). Effects of exercise and physical activity on anxiety. Frontiers in psychiatry4, 27.
  • Carek, P. J., Laibstain, S. E., & Carek, S. M. (2011). Exercise for the treatment of depression and anxiety. The international journal of psychiatry in medicine41(1), 15-28.
  • Collins, N. M., Cromartie, F., Butler, S., & Bae, J. (2018). Effects of early sport participation on self-esteem and happiness. The sport journal20, 1-20.
  • Harvard Health Publishing. (15 February, 2021). Exercise can boost your memory and thinking skills.,or%20contribute%20to%20cognitive%20impairment.
  • Kandola, A., & Stubbs, B. (2020). Exercise and anxiety. Physical Exercise for Human Health, 345-352.
  • Sani, S. H. Z., Fathirezaie, Z., Brand, S., Pühse, U., Holsboer-Trachsler, E., Gerber, M., & Talepasand, S. (2016). Physical activity and self-esteem: testing direct and indirect relationships associated with psychological and physical mechanisms. Neuropsychiatric disease and treatment12, 2617.
  • Van Dongen, E. V., Kersten, I. H., Wagner, I. C., Morris, R. G., & Fernández, G. (2016). Physical exercise performed four hours after learning improves memory retention and increases hippocampal pattern similarity during retrieval. Current Biology26(13), 1722-1727.
  • Zhang, Y., Fu, R., Sun, L., Gong, Y., & Tang, D. (2019). How does exercise improve implicit emotion regulation ability: preliminary evidence of mind-body exercise intervention combined with aerobic jogging and mindfulness-based yoga. Frontiers in psychology10, 1888.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.