Is Working Out Good for Your Mental Health?


Nick Ashak (11th), Reporter

Working out is a very interesting task many people do. The goal of working out is to do exercises/physical activities to lose weight, gain muscle, and improve your body. Working out can also do many more things besides that. It can reduce risks of diseases, improve your ability to do everyday things, and make you more fit. However, many people work out for mental health reasons claiming it improves it, and here is my take on it.


A reason I believe working out improves your mental health is because if you are insecure about your body, working out is the solution. Let’s say for example, your best friend is sad because they saw an ad of someone muscular and they wish they weren’t as scrawny as they currently are. Going to the gym and working out for a few hours a week can help make you stronger and remove the insecurities you may have on your body, and leave you with a better body image.

Another reason I believe working out improves your mental health is because it can reduce stress, be a distraction, and leave you focused. Working out is a focus/form based type activity. You need to be locked in while doing it and if you are, for example, lifting weights, your mind has to focus on pushing them and doing whatever you need to do with that, not your Math test coming next week. If you go to the gym with a few stressful thoughts, you’ll be in the gym working, focused, and forgetting them and leaving feeling good about yourself and relaxed.

Another main reason I can say working out can improve your mental health is because it creates energy. We all have those lazy slumped days at our house bored and extremely tired. Even running outside for 10 minutes helps give the body a little bit of energy, which can lighten your mood. Personally, when I am tired, I prefer to just isolate myself and ignore people which I hate doing, and people are mostly the same, often being called “lazy, dry” etc. when talking to people. Working out can make you feel better about yourself and you can have a better time with the people around you.

Those 3 alone are already extremely impactful reasons, but there are plenty more, such as improved mood, improved self-esteem, pride in physical appearance, increased satisfaction in oneself and decreased depression symptoms.

I have plenty of friends who go to the gym regularly, and I decided to ask them their thoughts on the topic. First I interviewed my friend, a junior here at Pitman High, Isaac Rodriguez, asking, Does working out help your mental health and if so, how? which he responded, “Yes it does; I get a sense of accomplishment afterwards knowing slowly I am bettering myself, and working towards a goal.” Next, I interviewed my personal friend, Santi, asking the same questions, with a response of, “Yes; it makes you more confident.”

Overall, mental health is very serious, and if you are looking to improve it and get some self care in, working out is a great method to achieve the self care and have the mental health you want.