You probably already know that exercise improves your physical health, but did you know it can also have a huge impact on your mood? According to the Mayo Clinic, regular exercise may actually reduce the symptoms of mental illnesses like anxiety and depression and improve moods even in people with no discernible mental illness at all. 

Here are just a few ways working out can make you happier:


When you exercise, you're given a front-row seat to what your body can do. As you stick to your routine, set and reach new fitness goals, you'll start to gain confidence. The great thing about confidence is that having it in one part of your life tends to carry over to others as well. When you're suddenly able to run a mile farther than when you started, you'll probably feel better about other things you're doing. You might even find that you're more self-assured at work and in your personal life.

Building strength and stamina will help you gain confidence. Building strength and stamina will help you gain confidence.

General health

Working out has a huge impact on your overall health and wellness. This will effect your life in a couple of ways - for starters, you won't be bogged down by aches, pains or the general malaise caused by inactivity. You'll also have way more energy. Moreover, because you'll be more physically fit, you're less likely to have health-related stress. Working out now ensures a healthier future, so your odds of having a huge health issue down the line decrease significantly. 


As anyone who has ever experienced the elusive "runner's high" can tell you, exercise releases endorphins. Even those who have never had such a dramatic mid-run mood-boost know that they usually finish in a better mood than when they started. These endorphins aren't just produced during and immediately after exercise, either - working out improves your brain's ability to make these chemicals, so you're more likely to have a steady stream of endorphins all the time.


Working out with a buddy or attending a regular exercise classes lets you improve your health and build your social connections all at once. Having a strong social network is one of the best things you can do to prevent or cope with mental illness. Although there are plenty of ways to make friends that don't involve going to the gym, why not bond over a pursuit that makes you both healthier in the long run? Not only will social exercise help you maintain relationships, it will also motivate you to commit to your exercise routine more because the other person will be relying on you.

Stress relief

When you run, lift weights or perform any kind of exercise, you're dealing with stress in a productive way. Many of the methods people use to deal with stress are unhealthy and tend to hurt them in the long run. Plenty of bad habits, like smoking or eating junk food, are formed out of an attempt to reduce anxiety. Instead of using these unhealthy coping methods, you're actually improving your physical well-being when you exercise.