Teen Mental Health and Exercise

    Everyone knows that keeping yourself physically fit requires a certain amount of weekly exercise, but what about keeping yourself mentally fit? Exercise has been proven to improve general mental and physical wellness, yet not many people are aware of this. Teen mental health and exercise are interwoven, meaning that it’s important to motivate your child to become active.

    Exercise and the brain

    In a recent study of 221 children, participants split into two groups that either engaged in at least 70 minutes of exercise or did not. Researchers found that the children who exercised had better cognitive flexibility, attentional inhibition and processing speed.

    Not only can physical activity improve cognitive functions, but it can also actually alleviate symptoms of depression, anxiety and low self-esteem issues. Exercise does this, according to Mayo Clinic, by releasing feel-good chemicals that ease depression, reducing immune system chemicals that might worsen depression, and increasing body temperature which has a calming effect.

    Exercise is great for making small goals, like running a little more than the day before, and can boost self-confidence. In a recent experiment about teen mental health and exercise, teens were asked how they felt after working out. The results concluded 53 percent said they felt good about themselves, 40 percent said they were in a good mood and 32 percent said they were less stressed. Fitting in physical activity doesn’t have to mean hitting the gym. Physical activity can be as simple as taking the stairs instead of the elevator.

    Teen mental health and exercise at Trails Carolina

    The teenage years are imperative developmental years. In order for your teen to grow, they need a nurturing, safe and caring environment that gives them all the tools necessary to work through mistakes and fully develop.

    Trails Carolina provides all these things. Through incorporating wilderness therapy into our program, we give students the opportunity for daily exercise, real change and healthy growth. At Trails, we recognize this important link between teen mental health and exercise in order to provide the best care possible.

    Call us today, at 800-975-7303, if you need care for your struggling teen!


    Graham Shannonhouse

    All stories by: Graham Shannonhouse

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