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Is there a link between exercise and mental health?

Besides helping to keep us healthy, exercise can help relieve the symptoms of depression and other mood disorders.
By getting 30 minutes of physical activity on three to five days a week, you can reduce anxiety and improve your mood. It is not a cure, but research suggests that exercise raises levels of mood-enhancing neurotransmitters in the brain. It also releases endorphins and reduces levels of the stress hormone, cortisol.

The research has proven time and time again that consistent exercise does improve mood, and depression. Please read over the Discovery Health response for specifics, and another wonderful benefit of consistent exercise is that not only does it decrease depression but exercise will increase your confidence in yourself, which is a major weapon in overcoming obstacles to reaching your fitness goals.  

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.