Just a couple of hours of exercise a week is good for mental health. In research studies, exercise repeatedly is shown to be superior to medication for improving depression!

Exercising for just two hours a week can improve one’s mental well being and can reduce the number of “bad” days a month by one and one half days, compared to those who dont exercise at all.. In a study published in Lancet Psychiatry, those who exercised 3-5 days per month had the fewest “bad” days. Exercising more than 90 minutes per day, in this study, was actually associated with poor mental health.

couple exercising in the sunset

Top ten benefits of regular exercise/physical activity

  1. Improved brain health & cognition
  2. Increases happiness & confidence;
  3. helps with weight loss and weight maintenance
  4. improves strength of your muscles and bones
  5. increases your energy level
  6. reduces your risk for chronic disease
  7. helps skin health
  8. helps with relaxation and sleep
  9. reduces chronic pain
  10. promotes a better sex life

Why is it important to be physically active?

The human body was meant to move. When it does not move enough, systems begin to break down. So the question is

How much exercise and/or physical activity is needed at a minimum to maximize benefits?

Is some activity is always better than none?

If a person is basically sedentary, any physical activity they can begin to do will be helpful. For example, simply standing up from the chair or couch every twenty or thirty minutes, rather than remaining seated the whole time will be an improvement. Or, while seated straighten your legs and raise your arms, as a way to engage in some kind of movement. Once this has been done for a few days, other movement can be gradually added.

What is best?

A goal is to regularly engage in thirty minutes of moderate exercise or physical activity at least five days a week. This amount of physical activity/exercise has been shown to produce benefits in the majority of people.  A mix oof aerobic and resistance exercies, such as weight lifitng, for 4 hours per week can prevent cardiovascular disease.

Where should I start?

Take small steps to start…seek a personal trainer if you have reservations.

Brisk walks         Skipping              Weight Lifting

Yoga                     Gardening            Tai Chi

Swimming          Trampoline           Climbing Stairs


What should I do if I don’t have energy?

Exercising with a friend can help to maintain the exercise regimen. Making the physical activity a part of one’s daily and weekly routine can also help a person to continue to do it. Going for a walk after dinner; doing some sit-ups before a bath or shower; doing some stretches before leaving and coming home for work are examples of building some form of exercise into one’s daily routine.

Of course, more involved activities like going to a gym, taking yoga classes, playing an organized sport, go dancing, etc. would be great ways of getting the exercise/movement one needs. The point is no matter what your situation there are ways to increase your amount of exercise and/or physical activity in ways that will be possible and helpful for you.

How can Sadar Psychological Help?

For those wanting to initiate a basic routine of exercise and/or physical activity, our staff can be helpful. If there is a desire for a more involved physical assessment and a plan based on the assessment results, our partners at Lift and Live Fitness can provide you with a complete fitness evaluation as well as ongoing customized training to do on your own or with a certified trainer at their gym. A complete fitness evaluation will give you a measure of your fitness (flexibility, stability, strength, endurance, body composition) relative to suggested levels for your age and activity. Customized training programs are available, whether you prefer to do exercises in your home or at a gym, or alongside one of their certified trainers in a private or group setting.

Unlocking the Brain’s Potential: Empowering Patients, Educating Practitioners

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