5 Mental Challenges Going to the Gym Can Help With



Sophomore Callie Jones utilizes a weight machine at Planet Fitness in Colerain, OH.

Going to the gym and exercising can improve your mental health as well as your physical health. By relieving tension and releasing endorphins your mind becomes happier and you are able to give yourself a healthy outlet to strengthen your physical and mental health. Listed below are the 5 mental challenges.

1. Depression

Going to the gym has been proven to help fight depression. It can reduce inflammation and promote feelings of calmness by releasing endorphins. Exercising can give you a sense of peace by distracting your mind from negative and depressing thoughts. Depression is real and finding a simple thing that can help slightly can improve your mental health and overall well being. 

Senior John Knebel stated, “It helps when you are feeling down or sad. For seniors everything like our lives are changing and I know I can always go to the gym everyday, and it’s something that’s always going to be there to help me.”

2. Stress

Going to the gym can be a break from daily stresses. As you exercise you focus on your physical health and your body. Your mind becomes distracted for that time period, which gives you a healthy way to calm down and assess your situations instead of letting the pressure build and trying to deal with it in the moment. It can be better to take a step back and give yourself time to be okay before assessing your problems and the gym creates a healthy stress free environment for you to do so. 

According to HelpGuide.org, a nonprofit guide to mental health and wellness,Exercising is an effective way to break this cycle. As well as releasing endorphins in the brain, physical activity helps to relax the muscles and relieve tension in the body. Since the body and mind are so closely linked, when your body feels better so, too, will your mind.”

3. Self-esteem.

Working out can make you stronger and more physically fit which can help with the way you see yourself. Working on yourself physically can help with insecurities and build stronger self confidence. Exercising and working on yourself can help you feel more confident, not only in your own skin but also with your mindset and eliminating negative thoughts.

Senior Justin Hinkle sated, “It gives me self confidence, just walking around and knowing, oh I could beat that guy up makes me feel confident.”

4. Anxiety. 

Exercise relieves tension, when working out and spending time in the gym you are changing your thought pattern from zoning out, overthinking, and worrying to motivating, calm, and happy thoughts. Working out is a natural way to help your mind and body. Going to the gym can decrease anxiety not only while exercising but also outside of the gym. 

Knebel stated, “I’ve turned it into a hobby to just get out of my head every now and then and it’s not always like that but I go everyday really no matter what. But it definitely keeps me happy and active.”

5. Heartbreak.

Being active is a good way to distract your mind from constant worry and insecurity. So as you exercise your brain is telling your body to be happier and feel good. As you go through heartbreak you feel low and it can be hard to find motivation. Using what little drive you have to exercise and release endorphins can help you heal from a breakup.  

Hinkle stated, “When you get broken up with, a lot of times you are either mad at the other person or you feel bad about yourself and it’s a combination. So when I felt bad about myself and felt like all of this was my fault, eventually something snapped. I realize this isn’t my fault. You go to the gym and then it feels like you’re doing better than the other person, especially if you ended on bad terms. You feel like you’re doing better than the other person and that feels amazing.”

You can start today by taking walks or going on a run  as well as joining a gym. Planet Fitness, Immortal, and World Gym are all close to the Ross area. You can get in contact by calling or going to start a membership or a plan.