Mental Health Benefits of Staying Active While Young


Having an active lifestyle is a great way to keep one’s body in top shape. Many studies have found the various benefits that exercise provides. These benefits range from reducing the risk of developing diseases to keeping the body systems in perfect working order. What some people may not know, however, is that exercise is also hugely beneficial to one’s mental health.

Yes, having an active lifestyle in Ottawa benefits not only your physical wellbeing but also your mental and psychological wellness as well. Unfortunately, there are still some who regard physical health as more important than any aspect of your body. This is a common misconception, especially amongst younger people. But mental health is also essential. Keeping one’s mind and body healthy can work wonders for you and the people around you.

In this article, we discuss the mental health benefits of living an active lifestyle in Ottawa or anywhere in the world for teenagers. We highly recommend that you read this especially if you are a parent!

10 Mental Health Benefits of Staying Active While Young

shutterstock_71504077For a person to be both mentally and physically healthy, exercise is an absolute necessity. Some people, however, are not fans of a rigid exercise regimen. If that sounds familiar, a good alternative would be keeping an active lifestyle. An active lifestyle, especially when one is still young, offers as many benefits as doing exercise. Here are 10 mental health benefits of staying active while young.

Staying active while young builds beneficial exercise habits

You may have noticed that some of the things that you liked doing in your younger days are things that you still do up until now. Be it eating your favorite snack or sleeping a certain way, some habits really just stick to you. Whatever habits you build while you are young tend to persist until adulthood. This also extends to the type of lifestyle that you develop in your youth.

If you have gotten used to being always on the move as a teen, then chances are that you will gravitate to having an active lifestyle as an adult. It is also a lot easier to get into exercise while young since the body is still well-geared towards strenuous physical activity. If you want to make sure that your child’s good exercise habits stick well into their adulthood, then you should make sure that they start as soon as they can.

If one is getting on in age, it doesn’t mean that they he or she won’t be able to build the habits of an active lifestyle anymore. Starting late is better than never having started at all. Exercise benefits people of all ages, after all, including parents, youth, even the elderly.

Having an active lifestyle, especially during youth, reduces the chances of morbidity

shutterstock_198943055orbidity is the state of having a disease. The ability to exercise and an active lifestyle in reducing morbidity is well-studied and documented. Being sick can have a severe impact on one’s mental state. It is heartening to see many sick people having a positive outlook on life. It does work wonders for their physical state. However, a great way of keeping a positive outlook (which affects mental health) is to reduce the chances of morbidity.

Exercise seems to definitely have an indirect effect on one’s mental health because of its effects on the body. However, the benefits of an active lifestyle extend far more than just the incidental mental aspect.

Exercise and other physical activities have a positive effect on mood.

An active lifestyle also has a direct positive effect on mood. Studies have shown that physical activity has a direct impact on the physiology of the brain. One of these effects is through the release of a group of hormones known as endorphins. Endorphins activate specific areas of the brain and body which leads to a feeling of happiness. This means that the release of endorphins may have a positive effect on one’s mood.

A person’s mood directly impacts the people around them. There are many keys for maintaining healthy relationships, and having a consistently good vibe is one such factor. With an active lifestyle, your child can keep good social relationships.

An active lifestyle improves memory and helps strengthen neural connections.

shutterstock_1101062303Have you ever forgotten to wish ‘happy birthday’ to a friend or family member? We are pretty sure that the gesture, or lack thereof, was not appreciated. Fortunately, an active lifestyle can help in improving a person’s memory.

This is another direct effect of an active lifestyle on the brain’s physiology. Physical activities have been found to stimulate the brain and its cells to start making more neural connections. Strengthening neural connections improves your brain’s ability to send and receive information. This can help further in the processing of data and memories.

Exercise can likewise stimulate the brain to produce new brain cells. This can particularly benefit those who are starting to show lapses in their memory. Memory lapses are linked to a decline in the brain’s physiological function. Starting an active lifestyle early on can prevent this from happening, which is beneficial in the long-term.

Exercise improves the flow of blood to the brain

In general, an active lifestyle improves the body’s blood flow all over. It increases the flow of blood to the brain as a result. Increased blood flow to the brain helps in supplying it with an ample amount of oxygen and nutrients. It keeps the brain functioning properly and reduces the chance of damage because of oxygen or nutrient deprivation.

These, of course, have a direct impact on one’s mental health. Mental health is commonly linked to imbalances in brain function. Making sure that the brain functions properly can be extremely advantageous in maintaining good mental health.

An active lifestyle and exercise can decrease the chances of mental disorders

shutterstock_636998305An active lifestyle not only decreases the chances of physical conditions from occurring, but it also helps reduce the chances of mental and emotional disorders.

A very notable long-term study was done in Norway where researchers tracked the long-term mental health of people who exercised compared to people who did not. It found that those who did not exercise regularly were shown to have increased incidences of depression.

Constant movement can even treat the symptoms of some mental disorders

Aside from preventing mental disorders, an active lifestyle can also treat those who already have mental health conditions. Some studies have shown that regular exercise or constant movement can help alleviate the symptoms of some mental health conditions. The effect of working out is so good to the extent that some professionals call it a natural antidepressant.

In addition, exercise also has physiological effects that can help in alleviating mental health issues. Some of these include depression, ADHD, PTSD, and other forms of trauma.

It can help reduce stress levels and relieve tension

shutterstock_114260203Exercise is an all-natural way of reducing the stress levels and tension experienced by a person. The physical effects of exercise are beneficial for the muscles, which can help reduce anxiety. One notable effect on the brain includes the release of hormones that help combat the adverse effects of stress.

An active lifestyle helps with self-esteem

Having an active lifestyle is one of the best ways to keep a normal weight. Numerous studies that show how regular exercise helps in combating obesity.

Consequently, a healthy physique is shown to have a significant impact on a person’s self-esteem. Keeping one’s physical condition in good shape can increase the chances of keeping one confident. Unfortunately, teens are more prone to having low self-esteem, which vastly affects their behavior and relationships. In cases like this, youth counselling Ottawa can be of great help.

Having an active lifestyle can be a good alternative for traditional forms of exercise

shutterstock_108381368Some people are not too keen on having a traditional exercise regimen. This can be reconciled through having an active lifestyle. Some activities, even though they are not considered to be traditional exercise, can still give benefits. These can range from activities like yoga and stretching, to simple lifestyle choices like walking to work or carrying groceries manually. The general rule is to always keep moving, as constant movement leads to a more active lifestyle.

Mental Health is Important in Keeping Healthy Relationships

Unfortunately, not all problems are easily solvable when done alone. There is nothing wrong with seeking help. Some issues in life, especially in social and relationship aspects, may become too heavy to bear. If this happens to you or to a loved on, it may be time to see a professional for counselling. Youth counselling in Ottawa is a practical and effective choice. Mental health should always be a priority, and Capital Choice Counselling can help in providing youth counselling in Ottawa. Contact us at (613) 425-4257 or submit an online enquiry here. We are always ready to listen. Don’t hesitate to get in touch.