Well-Being Through Fitness

Moninda Marube
2 min readMay 30, 2021
Image Courtesy of Westlake Distance Running
Image Courtesy of Westlake Distance Running

Fitness is the condition of being physically healthy and having adequate mental acuity, muscular endurance, body flexibility, and cardiorespiratory endurance.

The World Health Organization (WHO) define health as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity (WHO, 2017)

Fitness is largely associated with physical activity. In the past, people used to walk most of the distances as opposed to using vehicles and commuter rails. This explains why there were fewer cases of mental instability compared to today. The introduction of personal cabs, delivery services, home services, couriers, and cheap vehicles has greatly impacted the way humans carry out their day-to-day activities. With limited access to gyms or fitness clubs, inactivity has been the new order of the day. Social media has also eaten up the time that people would use for exercise.

Unknown to many people, fitness and physical activity has a positive impact on mental health. Below are points that show how fitness affects your mental health.

  • Exercise increases your energy levels through the release of chemicals in the brain like serotonin, stress hormones, and endorphins.
  • Regular exercise helps you get better sleep thereby improving and regulating your moods
  • It distracts you from negative energy as you can use it as a way to release your frustrations
  • It offers you social and emotional support by creating a network of people with a common interest
  • It restores and tones your body to its perfect shape thereby increasing your self-esteem and reducing self-criticism and self-consciousness.
  • How do you start exercising and keep the momentum?
  • Start with simple moves like Skip rope jumping, Zumba, or dancing. The key is starting low and improving gradually.
  • Build your schedule to fit your mood. You can plan to watch your favorite movie while walking on a treadmill, listen to your best music while jogging, read a magazine while riding a stationary bike, or dance to good music.
  • Try different activities. Include running, Jumping, Cardio, swimming, jogging, and weight lifting to avoid overuse of one muscle.
  • Try short high-intensity training while taking a break
  • Don’t be too overzealous to avoid sore muscles and aching joints.

According to the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, the mental health benefits from regular exercise that should be emphasized and reinforced by every mental health professional to their patients include the following

  • Better sleep
  • Increased libido
  • forbearance
  • Reduced Stress
  • Improvement in mood
  • Increased energy and stamina
  • Reduced tiredness boosting mental alertness
  • Weight loss
  • Reduced cholesterol and improved cardiovascular fitness

The above facts have been backed by evidence and studies are ongoing showing how physical activity can be incorporated into traditional psychopharmacology and psychotherapy in the treatment of mental health.