Six Mental Health Benefits of Exercise in Teens

tennis 15844 1280Exercise can not only be used for physical health benefits but also mental health benefits. Regardless of age or fitness level, studies have shown that making time for exercise provides an abundance of mental benefits. As a teen, developing healthy brain function and mental health is essential. The health benefits of exercise in teens can eliminate the potential risk of mental illness, stress, poor self-confidence, memory, and many other things. An article by The Huffington Post discuss 6 different health benefits of exercise in teens and adults.

  1. Reduce stress and increase relaxation. Taking a walk or getting a workout in at the gym is a great way to relieve stress. One of the most common mental health benefits of exercise in teens is stress relief. Working out can help manage physical and mental stress that may have been built up for a negative experience at school or stressful exam. Exercise can also increase relaxation, benefiting teens who struggle with insomnia or sleep deprivation.
  2. Alleviate anxiety and depression. Exercise releases endorphins, which are natural chemicals in your body that create feelings of happiness. Studies have shown that the health benefits of exercise in teens can significantly improve depression or anxiety. Even just getting 30 minutes of exercise a few times a week can improve overall mood. Exercising with an anxiety disorder can actually help reduce symptoms in teens and allow them to calm down. Moderate-to-high intensity exercises can reduce anxiety sensitivity.
  3. Improve self-confidence. Physical fitness can boost self-esteem and self-image. Exercising, regardless of size or weight can provide teens with a perception of his or her self-worth. Exercising outdoors can increase self-esteem even more. Finding an outdoor workout that fits your interests is a great way to meet people and build other skills in building up self-esteem or self-worth.
  4. Sharpen memory and prevent cognitive decline. Doing sporadic physical activities can boost memory and learning. Researchers have linked children’s brain development with level of physical fitness. As we get older, our brains have a harder time processing or maintaining information. Another health benefit of exercise in teens, is that it reduces the chances of developing diseases like Alzheimer’s later in life. Working out at a young age boosts chemicals in the brain that prevent degeneration of areas of the brain that are linked to memory and learning.
  5. Help control addiction. Exercise can help in addiction recovery. Exercise can effectively distract drug or alcohol addicts, de-prioritizing cravings. Exercise also helps reboot the body after going through negative effects from alcohol or drug abuse.
  6. Get more done and tap into creativity. Researchers show that exercise on a regular basis creates higher levels of energy and productivity in more sedentary peers. Health benefits of exercise in teens can also boost creativity. Exercising outdoors or interacting with nature during exercise can create inspiration and creative thinking.

Trails Carolina Can Help!

 
Trails Carolina is a wilderness therapy program for struggling teens, ages 10-17. Our students commonly deal with issues such as depression, anxiety, ADHD, trauma, and other behavioral challenges.
For more information about Trails Carolina, please call 800-975-7303 today!

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