5 Simple Exercises to Improve Your Mental Health

Disclaimer: Elise Ho, aka “Dr. Ho” is a Holistic Health & Life Coach. Dr. Ho is NOT a medical doctor, licensed therapist, lawyer, or a bevy of other things. Products or services that Dr. Ho believes in are the only ones that she recommends. Dr. Ho may receive compensation, product, or an affiliate commission on anything you see on this site. This is a personal Website solely reflecting Dr. Ho’s personal opinions. Statements on this site do not represent the views or policies of any organization with which I may be affiliated.

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5 Simple Exercises to Improve Your Mental Health


Mental Health is affected both negatively and positively by many factors in life.


It is important to be aware of this fact and what you can do to protect yourself.

While you might be searching for solace in social media apps, music, or reading a book, an interesting way to get rid of anxiety and depression is exercising.

It might be hard for us to establish a relationship between physical exercise and mental well-being, but research has confirmed the positive impact of the former on the latter.

Scientifically, this can be explained by the fact that exercising releases endorphins.

[ctt template=”8″ link=”O4fWo” via=”yes” nofollow=”yes”]Endorphins are responsible for the happy vibes and relaxed feeling one experiences after working out.[/ctt]

Even if one of the following is included in our daily routine, one can see a considerable difference in their state of mind prior to and after exercise.


1. Swimming


Besides helping you lose weight and stay in shape, swimming helps relieve anxiety and depression since it is a form of aerobic activity.

How? Swimming helps get rid of excess flight or fight hormones that are responsible for a depression episode. This helps relax your muscles. An excellent alternative for muscle relaxants and anti-depressants, this is a natural way to feel better and to sop up negativity after a long stressful day at work.

Check out How To Get A Great Swim Workout for tips.


2. Jogging/ Running


Since any kind of aerobic activity releases endorphins, the hormone responsible for your happiness, going for a run is always a good idea. Although it is advisable that you go to a park nearby to experience the greenery and beauty of nature around you. Living in greener areas or going for a walk in such areas has proven to have a positive impact on one’s psychological well-being, reduced stress levels, and an overall healthier state of mind.


3. Brisk Walk


Low-intensity aerobic activity reduces stress levels, encourages positive thoughts, and improves alertness, all affecting different parts of your brain functioning. A 30-minute walk daily can do wonders for your mental health and make a noticeable difference. Going for a walk can uplift your mood when you least expect it to. Walking for six miles a week prevents memory loss and developing diseases relating to cognitive abilities, such as Alzheimer’s and Dementia at later stages in life. Moreover, it prevents episodes of cardiac arrest keeping you both physically and mentally healthy.


Learn about how walking can help your mental health and improve your sex life HERE


4. Yoga

Yoga is a 5000-year-old practice that has gained fame over the years owing to its guaranteed results for emotional and spiritual well-being. Yoga and meditation are even commonly used as part of an inpatient drug rehab program. This is because yoga teaches concentration and adaptability and can lead you towards healthier habits and a more positive mindset. The focus of yoga is on balancing one’s stress and anxiety levels. It does so by slowing down rapid breathing and high pulse rates. By increasing (gamma-aminobutyric acid) levels in your brain, it lets you relax and put your mind at ease. An hour of yoga daily can considerably increase GABA levels in your body making this practice extremely beneficial for your mental and emotional health.


5. Cycling


By saving you the additional traffic stress, cycling saves the day. By pedaling, you stimulate the production of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) leading to the formation of new brain cells. It also increases the production of new brain cells. This obviously leads to enhanced cognitive abilities, helping you deal smartly with everyday issues.

Exercising every day for an hour keeps you psychologically and physically fit.


In today’s fast-paced world, we often forget to give ourselves a break.


The key to a healthy life lies in pushing yourself without breaking yourself.


Naturally Yours,

Elise Ho, Ph.D., D.N.Psy


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Please use the comment section below to share your tips, questions, and/or thoughts about this post.

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Naturally Yours,
Elise Ho
Ph.D., D.N. Psych.
Behavioral & Mental Health Specialist

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32 thoughts on “5 Simple Exercises to Improve Your Mental Health”

  1. This is so true. Unfortunately, I’ve had to take a break from my fitness routine for several weeks, and I’m really feeling it! Am resuming it tomorrow, and that’s not a moment too soon.

  2. I used to do a variety of exercises at the gym like weight lifting classes, zumba, and yoga. When I developed TMJ I could not lift or do the yoga for some reason it aggravated it. So now my choice of exercise is a brisk hour walk every morning. It is part of my routine and I feel best when I do it.. I also jump on the rebounder ! thank you for this informative and encouraging post

  3. I’ve suffered with OCD for 30 years and when things are getting tough, the first thing I do is make sure I exercise frequently. I have always refused all medication and fully believe that exercise is a far a better way to help treat it.

  4. Great tips! I love swimming. You reminded me to check the schedule to find out when public swimming is so I can fit it into my schedule. Thanks!

  5. Hi Dr. Elise & Seemab,

    Each of the exercises you’ve suggested in this post are great for our mental health. The older we get the more crucial it is for us to keep moving for both mobility and for keeping our cognitive abilities buzzing along.

  6. Hi Elise,

    I just love jogging in the morning, that fresh air, that environment, I just love it as it helps me keep my mind fresh for daily work.

    By the way, Thanks for such an interesting read.

    ~ Donna

  7. Good advice – I think exercise is often overlooked if you have depression, as it’s hard to get motivated to go out and do any. But, as you say, it can be very beneficial and any reminders like this, about the power of exercise, are helpful.

    1. When you are feeling depressed, or even just very sad, it certainly can be very difficult to get motivated. The great thing about fresh air and sunshine is once you get going it is a bit easier to keep going.

  8. Sharon T McLaughlin MD FACS

    I have seen so much of this in the literature, I am surprised there are not more programs that include exercise. Thanks for writing this, exercise can make such a difference.

  9. I know I don’t do enough exercise. I have started to be more active at home, for example I might jog on the spot while I wait for the kettle to boil or watch something on tv. It’s working I’m sure! Being active is way better than being completely inactive, which is how I was (oh, apart from the 18-20,000 steps I do a day alpaca trekking but I don’t count them because that’s work!)

    Enjoy the journey!

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About The Author

Dr. Elise Ho

Dr. Elise Ho

Dr. Elise Ho is a Holistic Health & Life Coach with a special interest in emotional health, life alignment, and energy flow.

Elise will partner with you to align your mindset, your energy, your home and your career so that you can live your life's desire with freedom and love.

Elise offers 30 years of experience and multiple certifications and degrees including a Ph.D. in Natural Health and a doctoral degree in Naturopathic Psychology.