Skip to main content

Physical Fitness and Mental Health

Physical Fitness Improves Mental Health Too

Most of us, when we think about exercise, think of it as a way to improve our physical fitness, look better and help prevent conditions like heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. However, over the last ten years, a growing body of compelling evidence points to physical exercise having beneficial effects on mental health, cognitive abilities and an overall sense of greater well-being.

The bottom line is that there’s lots of evidence to suggest that physical exercise can lead you to enjoy a greater sense of overall well-being now and well into your future. However, with hectic work schedules and busy home lives, how does one find the time to exercise?

Here are a few tips to help you incorporate more movement into your daily routine. Whether you’re working, travelling or running errands, it’s easier than you might think to get your heart pumping and feel the positive physical and mental benefits of exercise. Here are some simple ways to improve fitness no matter where you are:

  • Sitting at work all day: Try getting up from your desk and taking a walk outside for lunch. You’ll be re-energized when you return to your desk. To work your lower body, try this desk-friendly leg exercise that works your core muscles, too.
  • Travel days don’t have to be sedentary: If you’re on a plane or train, try this seated exercise to engage your abdominal muscles and inner thighs.
  • Working from home, here are some exercises you can do almost anywhere: Push-ups are a great exercise because they engage almost every muscle in your body. You can also try standing hip extensions which will work your glutes and can also improve your balance.

There are so many ways to infuse exercise into your life and daily routine. The key is to make it a permanent part of your lifestyle. Juggling a busy schedule can be challenging. However, working exercise into every part of your life will go a long way toward increasing your physical and mental health today, as well as helping you to avoid diseases in the future.

Whatever you’d like to achieve, be realistic about your goals and time periods for achieving them. Start small and build your fitness and confidence over time.

To access the full article on how physical fitness improves mental health, click here.

In partnership with the YMCA, Hally Health focuses on a variety of topics aimed at people of any age or fitness level who want to stay healthy and active. Try this Kickboxing workout that’s sure to get your heart pumping. To view all our YMCA partnership fitness videos throughout the month, please visit or