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Exercise Can Improve Your Mental Health

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As a busy mom always on the go there are short lived moments of “me time.” I’m sure most of you can relate. If it’s not kids, work, school, or spouses, it’s something else constantly needing our attention and taking up our precious time.

These days women have more demands put on them then ever before. We work, cook, clean, raise children, and that’s just the start. I like to call it the Super Women syndrome, but the last time I checked none of us are hanging around in our super hero costume flying around in our invisible plane taking care of things in a flash. This hustle and bustle can make you tired physically, but especially mentally and sometimes can bring us down, give us the blues, or even make us a little crazy. So what can we do? Yep, exercise and here is why.

Physically active people tend to have better mental health, according to the 1996 U.S. Surgeon General’s Report on Physical Activity and Health. Compared with inactive people, the physically active had higher scores for positive self-concept, more self esteem, and more positive moods. The American Heart Association states more active people also seem to score higher on perceived ability to perform activities of daily living, physical well-being and other measures related to quality of life. A few studies even suggest that more active lifestyles may be linked with higher levels of alertness and mental ability, including the ability to learn.

Exercise can even help people with mild to moderate depression. Some researchers and practitioners have turned to exercise as a treatment method instead of medication for mild to moderate depression. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) states that there are constant findings in research literature that exercise is most helpful and some evidence suggests that it’s effectiveness is comparable to individual, group, and cognitive therapy, while other evidence indicates that exercise is comparable to antidepressants medications in reducing symptoms and associated with a smaller likelihood of relapse then medication.

There are many theories on why exercise is so helpful.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.