The Best Exercise for Mental Health and Well-being

Before we get into the best exercise for mental health and well-being, we want to remind you that taking care of your mental health and well-being is just as important as staying physically fit. Maybe you can relate? For us, exercise used to be all about getting fit, feeling strong and looking good. While it certainly can tick off these goals, there are so many more amazing benefits of exercise. Also, it’s important to note that focusing only on physical transformation can sometimes negatively affect mental health, it can lead to disorderly eating, exercise obsession, comparison, negative self-esteem and more (well this was us anyway).

What are the Best Exercises for Mental Health

  1. Aerobic Exercise: Activities that raise your heart rate are great for looking after your mental well-being. Think: walking, running, cycling, faster Pilates (we teach this!), dancing, swimming and the list goes on! These exercises release feel-good hormones and neurotransmitters, which elevate your mood and reduce stress. This is why you feel so great after a workout!
  2. Strength Training: Lifting weights or doing resistance training (you can even use your body weight, Yoga and Pilates!) will also benefit mental health. You will experience that mood-boosting release plus a sense of accomplishment after each workout!
  3. Mind-Body Exercises: For us, this is the real magic! Practices like Yoga, Tai chi, and Pilates combine physical exercise with mental focus and breath. This action creates greater relaxation and seriously reduces anxiety. Plus, you get all the physical benefits like increased flexibility, balance, mobility and strength. 
  4. Team Sports and Group Activities: Engaging in sports or group fitness classes creates a sense of community and connection. So often mental health issues come from a sense of loneliness. You can even feel this sense of connection in the online world in special circumstances (our MerryBody community is an amazing example).

Really, we could have simply said something like this…

The best style of exercise for mental health is the one you love and look forward to doing multiple times a week. Consistency is key!


Exercise can Even Reduce the Risk of Dementia

Exercise is crucial for brain health, it reduces the risk of cognitive decline and dementia (we know, amazing right!).

Regular physical activity increases blood flow to the brain, promoting the growth of new brain cells and enhancing connections between them. This leads to improved memory, better cognitive function and a sharper mind.

Exercise also helps reduce inflammation and lower levels of stress hormones. Both inflammation and high stress levels are linked to cognitive decline. Ready to exercise yet?

How to Create a Consistent Exercise Habit to Promote Better Mental Health

It can be difficult to create everlasting habits, even when you know just how amazing the healthy habit is for your life. These are especially good tips if you’re a non-exerciser.

Start with Short Sessions

If you’re new to exercise, start with short and more manageable workouts. This is why we have a huge amount of 10-15 minute Pilates and Yoga classes inside our Online MerryBody Studio. If this is you, and you have time right now, pop on your sneakers and go for a 10-minute walk around the block. Gradually build up from this time, maybe choose a more strenuous track after a week or even add a few interval jogs during your walk. 

Set Doable Goals

Set goals that align with your fitness level and lifestyle. This could be anything from running a 5K Fun Run to doing 3 x Yoga classes a week. Creating milestones can boost your confidence and encourage consistency.

Mix It Up

If you find workouts boring, it’s time to re-look at your routine! We know staring at a treadmill timer in the gym can be boring. While variety is essential, prioritising the joy factor in your workouts can make a big difference. Like for us, we LOVE Yoga and Pilates, we’ve been doing both these practices for years and never feel bored.  

Schedule It

Pop it in your calendar, just like any other appointment. Schedule it into your day to ensure it becomes a regular part of your routine (and to ensure it gets done!). For us, we love morning workouts as there is less space for disruption and it just also gets you in a good mood for the day!

Listen to your Body

Check in with how you feel after your workouts. How are your mood and energy levels post workout? Depending on the workout session you might feel tired (especially if you’re running marathons or doing Bootcamps), but generally, you should feel better in mind afterwards. If exercise seems to create low feelings, or maybe heightens your anxiety or depression, we’d always suggest to speak to a healthcare professional.

If you’re ready to add more consistent exercise to your life, now is a great time to try out MerryBody workouts. We begin our next Member exclusive Challenge on the 20 May. Get ready for 14 days of Yoga, Pilates and Meditation to get you feeling amazing.

Experience the joy of fitness with MerryBody classes, designed to enhance your strength, flexibility, and mobility while boosting your energy and promoting better mental health.

MerryBody seamlessly combines safe and effective movements with empowering meditation sessions, offering a holistic approach to elevate your overall health. Regardless of your age or fitness level, these classes promote both inner and outer well-being. Whether you’re just starting out or progressing in your fitness journey, you’ll find MerryBody sessions accessible and empowering.

The best part, you can begin with a 7 Day Trial! To join, head on over HERE!

If you have any questions, reach out, we are here to help!

Always merrymaking,

Emma + Carla

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