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The Effect of Exercise and Diet on Mental Health

First and foremost, I wanted to make clear the purpose of this article, which is to illustrate how implementing exercise and diet in your lifestyle can help alleviate any mental health issues and stress, but it’s not the only thing you can do. As you already know exercise and diet is generally done to improve your physical health, and it can make you look more fit and attractive, which can make you feel more confident and happier about yourself. However, we rarely think about how it can affect you mentally, so in this blog, I will compile a few studies together to show you how important exercise is, not all physically but mentally too.

Effect of Exercise

I will first talk about the effect of exercise, in an article published by Cambridge, it says “there is sufficient evidence to suggest that exercising is effective in treating clinical depression”, it also says it can “treat anxiety”. This article clearly demonstrates how important exercise is, but I want to offer a different point of view, different individuals can suffer from mental health for different reasons, so it’s important to consider whether exercise is the remedy, over the solutions available such as consultations and medications. In a post by the Harvard medical school, it says “exercise alone isn’t enough for someone suffering from depression”, this shows although exercise can affect you positively, it shouldn’t be the only thing to be used as a remedy.

Effect of diet

It’s hard to put a direct link between diet and mental health, but we all know after an unhealthy meal, it can make your mood go down, no matter how good it tastes. I personally feel this way a lot of the time, when I eat a lot of unhealthy food. However, when doing exercise, it can release endorphins, which increase our mood. Nonetheless, an article by the British Medical Journal says “ poor diet may be a factor to poor mood”, this is because certain foods have a certain biological effect on the body and mind. Eating the correct balance of foods can positively affect your mood, but not so your mental health. In the same article by the British Medical Journal, it says the “Mediterranean diet is associated more with a better mental health than Western diets”, this further iterates the importance of eating good food.

Should you exercise and eat right?

The answer is always going to be yes, to make you look and feel better. Furthermore, eating right and exercising can prevent many physical health problems, not just mental health. Also, I wanted to further iterate that just exercising and eating right will have a positive effect on your mental health but it may not be all you will need. This may be because people suffer from mental health problems for different reasons. If the reason for someone’s low mood and mental health problem is because of weight, then by all means it can be assumed that exercising and diet will be sufficient, but for others it may not be.


1 by Cambridge:

2nd by Harvard medical school

3rd by BMJ

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