Exercise for Mental and Physical Well Being
Getting exercise is good for our mental well being as well as our physical health – so the Business Healthy Challenge is a great way of toning up our minds as well as our bodies!
Much research has demonstrated that physical exercise can boost our mood as endorphins or “happy” chemicals are released by exercising. It is also a great way getting a sense of achievement and often pleasure if we are doing an activity we enjoy, which further enhances our good mood. A balance of activities for achievement and pleasure is a key ingredient of resilience and good mental wellbeing.
But exercise is also good at helping us manage stress and anxiety issues. Sometimes when we get anxious, we can get locked in a vicious cycle noticing the physical symptoms that may lead us to feel more anxious as our hearts race or we struggle to catch our breath. When we do aerobic exercise, we get the same physical responses, which can help to normalise them. It also reduces our stress levels, increasing our chances of addressing our problems more constructively.
Efficacy helps individual and corporate clients improve resilience and mental wellbeing through evidence-based psychological therapies and coaching.
Written by Tanya Wolff, Clinical Lead - Efficacy
Faculty of Public Health (2010). “Concepts of Mental and Social Wellbeing.”
 Alfermann, D. & Stoll, O. (2000). Effects of Physical Exercise on Self-Concept and Wellbeing. International Journal of Sport Psychology, 31, 47–65.
 Salmon, P. (2001). Effects of Physical Activity on Anxiety, Depression, and Sensitivity to Stress: A Unifying Theory. Clinical Psychology Review, 21 (1), 33–61.
 Zschucke, E., Gaudlitz, K. & Strohle, A. (2013). Exercise and Physical Activity in Mental Disorders: Clinical and Experimental Evidence. J Prev Med Public Health, 46 (1), 512–521.
 Alexandratos, K., Barnett, F. & Thomas, Y. (2012). The impact of exercise on the mental health and quality of life of people with severe mental illness: a critical review. British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 75 (2), 48–60.
 Penedo, F.J. & Dahn, J.R. (2005). Exercise and well-being: a review of mental and physical health benefits associated with physical activity. Current Opinion in Psychiatry. 18 (2), 189–193.
 Kanning, M. & Schlicht, W. (2010). Be Active and Become Happy: An Ecological Momentary Assessment of Physical Activity and Mood. Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 32 (2), 253–261.
 Reed, J. & Buck, S. (2009). The effect of regular aerobic exercise on positive-activated affect: A meta-analysis. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 10 (6), 581–594.
 Lindwall, M. & Aşçı, F.H. (2014). Physical Activity and Self-Esteem. In: A. Clow & S. Edmunds (eds.). Physical activity and mental health. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.
 Conn, V.S. (2010). Anxiety outcomes after physical activity interventions: meta-analysis findings. Nursing Research, 59 (3), 224–231.
 Asmundson, G.J.G., Fetzner, M.G., DeBoer, L.B., Powers, M.B., Otto, M.W. & Smits, J.A.J. (2013). Let’s get physical: a contemporary review of the anxiolytic effects of exercise for anxiety and its disorders. Depression and Anxiety, 30 (4), 362–373