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!

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Jeremy Whitworth

As Executive Director at Trails Carolina, a leading wilderness therapy program for youth and teens, I oversee operations and collaborate with our leadership team. Since 2022, I've also hosted the Common Ground Podcast for parents: https://trailscarolina.com/common-ground-podcast/ With a background in Wilderness Leadership and Experiential Education, I've managed adventure-based therapeutic programs across the US and Canada. My experiences in competitive athletics and adventure sports have honed my leadership, risk assessment, and decision-making skills, which I apply to running a successful business like Trails Carolina.

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Trails saved my daughter’s life. Amanda is an amazing human and a brilliant therapist. I am so grateful to her, Science Steve, and the other wonderful people who could reach my daughter at a time when I could not.

Margot Lowman August 2022

Great life changing experience for our son. After becoming addicted to gaming during covid he was very depressed. At Trails he experienced the wilderness, Science Steve, learning survival skills and top notch therapy and support etc… I highly recommend! This gave our son and our family a renewed family bond full of love and excitement about his bright future.

Winnifred Wilson July 2022


Outstanding clinical work and superb staff! There’s a great culture at this company and it shows with how they engage with families/clients.

Kristin Brace June 2022


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