The psychological benefits of regular physical activity

Dr Mohamed Gaith Al Kuwari/ Director of HLP / Public health consultant
03 September, 2014

No Image

Click here to read this in Arabic

There are many reasons why physical activity is good for your body. You may know it prevents disease such as diabetes, hypertension, and obesity. But do you know that the effect of physical activity extends to your psychological wellbeing? If you are not sure ask people who are doing exercises on regular bases how do they feel after exercising or if they stop for a week or more.

Scientists said that physical activity stimulates our body to releases chemicals in your brain that make you feel happy and relaxed. On the long term regular physical activity can enhances your mood, boosts your self-esteem,  improves your cognitive function, reduces your stress, anxiety and improves your sleep.

Enhance mood

Recently physical exercise has been described as anti-depressant pill. Several studies showed strong link between mood enhancement and regular moderate physical activity such as cycling, aerobic exercises, brisk walking, or jogging. It is well known that active people are less depressed than inactive people. And people who were active and stopped tend to be more depressed than those who maintain or initiate regular active lifestyle.

Experts believe that the mood enhancement effect happens within five minutes after you start your moderate physical activity. Researches showed that exercise can also help in treatment of depression’s patients through increasing chemicals such as endorphin and serotonin. So be active and feel happy.

Reduce stress and anxiety

Who is not complaining from stress now days? Do you know that we can relive our stress by doing regular physical activity?.  Studies showed that physical exercise increases concentrations of norepinephrine, a chemical that can moderate the brain’s response to stress and cause some relief.

Regular physical activity has been considered as tool to prevent or treat anxiety. Studies showed anxiety patients who participated in a two-week exercise programs showed significant improvement in anxiety sensitivity compared with patients who do not take part in exercise programs. So be active and relax.


Improve cognitive function

Do you feel that your memory is not like before or you can’t concentrate? The advice is to be more active. Regular physical activity boosts memory and ability to learn new things. If you are doing regular moderate physical activity between age 25 and 45, you boosts the chemicals in the brain that prevent degeneration of the hippocampus, an important part of the brain for memory and learning.  So be active and smart.

Boost self-esteem

Most of us think that the physical appearance has positive impact on self-esteem. However experts added that regular physical activity boosts self-esteem and improves positive self-image not only through reshaping our body. It is found that with regular exercise and increasing fitness regardless of your weight, size, or age, you can quickly elevate your perception of your attractiveness and have more self-confidence. So be active and confident.

Improve sleep

If you do your exercise 5-6 hours before bedtime, you will have good sleep and you will not face insomnia. Exercise raises the body’s core temperature and when the body temperature drops back to normal a few hours later, it means it is time to sleep.  But if you delay your exercise to 2-3 hours before bedtime you may face insomnia. That’s why it is recommended to do your exercise in morning or afternoon. So be active and sleep well.

Get your 150 minutes a week to enjoy the life

Do you want to enjoy the life? Try to get all the psychological benefits of the physical activity, by doing 30 minutes of moderate exercise 5 times a week. Moderate exercise means being energetic enough so you breathe a little heavier than normal and feel warmer.





rate this article



The comments below express the personal opinions of the individuals who post them, which are not necessarily aligned with our views and directions.

Total Comments (4)

  • Thank you dr

    Posted by anonymous user on June 30, 2017 10:11 PM Report abuse
  • Cool!!!! So be active and feel happy. So be active and relax. So be active and smart So be active and confident. So be active and sleep well.

    Posted by anonymous user on March 21, 2016 01:30 PM Report abuse
  • physical fitness do a lot more good things in our body hence regular exercise is the only way to attain this

    Posted by anonymous user on June 05, 2015 02:38 PM Report abuse
  • This article gets my five!!!!!!!!! Thumbs up to all the above. My health was going down. Regular min 30min daily walks in the morning, improved my health, reduced stress, boosted my self-esteem and improved my sleep. I do enjoy a healthier lifestyle indeed.

    Posted by anonymous user on April 07, 2015 10:43 AM Report abuse

Read the Latest Issue of Namat Magazine


Latest Photo

Latest Video