Social & Emotional Benefits of Regular Exercise

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Exercise is one of the best ways to remain fit and healthy for people of all ages. The physical benefits of exercising regularly are well documented and highly recommended by healthcare professionals.

Did you know that emotional and social well-being are also enhanced by engaging in exercise? Let’s take a look at some of the emotional and social benefits that occur when exercise is included in your overall health plan.

<strong>Stress Relief</strong>

Do you wake up feeling tense and stiff? Are your shoulders tight after putting in a long day at the office? If you have anxiety, or feel like you’re at your wit’s end, your body may be reacting to a stress overload. Exercise can help with that. Something as simple as walking can help relieve tension and give you a burst of energy. An exercise or yoga class provides an opportunity to stretch, move, and relieve the tension that builds up in the body after a stressful day. When you exercise, the focus is on breathing and being in touch with your body, which helps alleviate anxiety. Exercise boosts your immune system, which helps you remain mentally and physically healthy.

<strong>Alleviate Mild Depression</strong>

Studies have shown that a regular exercise program can help a person overcome mild bouts of depression. Some psychologists even recommend exercise as a part of the treatment plan for those who suffer from mild to moderate chronic depression. The benefits of exercise can be as effective as anti-depressants in some cases. Exercise releases endorphins; potent brain chemicals that improve moods, lift spirits and make you feel energized. Exercise builds resilience, helps you to develop a healthy sleep pattern and gives you a sense of power and confidence as you achieve your exercise goals.

<strong>Exercise Enhances Socialization</strong>

Exercise is a great way to improve self-esteem. When you begin to see and feel the benefits of exercise, such as weight loss and feeling energized, you are more likely to flourish in the workplace and in social situations. Exercising in a group, or even walking with a friend, provides the opportunity to share camaraderie and conversation. Feeling good about yourself helps your self-esteem and helps you feel poised in social situations.

<strong>Exercising Outside Has Social and Emotional Benefits</strong>
Walking in the park, hiking and bike riding are great forms of exercise. Embrace the great outdoors. The sunlight will lift your spirits, and the sights and smells of nature have a wonderfully calming effect. If you live near the ocean, take a walk on the beach or a swim in the waves. Choose an exercise that invigorates and restores you, and enjoy positive changes exercise can make in your life.

Cite this page: N., Sam M.S., "Social & Emotional Benefits of Regular Exercise," in, January 9, 2016, (accessed August 17, 2022).