More Than Big Biceps: 4 Mental Health Benefits of Regular Exercise


Do you need a reason to motivate yourself to exercise more regularly?

If you think muscles are just for meatheads or gym rats think again!


Did you know that just 30 minutes of exercise a day can make you a genius?

Ok, you still might not become Einstein but you can get pretty close.

Check out these 4 ways that working out can improve your mental health and wellness!


1) Increases Energy

The more you move, the more energized you will feel. Regular physical activity improves your muscle strength and boosts your endurance, giving you the energy you need to think clearer and come up with new ideas. A good 15 minutes of moving around, even just around your living room, makes your body produce more energy on a cellular level.

2) Exercise Helps You Pick Up Your Productivity

When you’re swamped, it can be hard to close your computer and hit the gym. But according to one International Journal of Workplace Health Management study, people are still 23 percent more productive on days they exercise compared to days they don’t. Exercise increases the amount of oxygen sent to the brain, increasing your energy and making you sharper.

3) Exercise Boosts Mood and Cognition at a Neural Level

Exercise releases endorphins, also known as nature’s mood elevator, which has been shown to improve memory. Exercise also releases serotonin, which improves mood and alleviates symptoms of depression, according to the Mayo Clinic. Duke University researchers proved that depressed adults who exercised regularly improved as much as those treated with the antidepressant Zoloft!

Antidepressants work like exercise in that they increase BDNF(Brain-derived neurotrophic factor), which may ultimately be why they are effective at elevating mood. Sharpens Focus Dr. John Ratey, author of “Spark – The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain” says that exercise improves your brain in the short term by raising your focus for two to three hours afterwards.  If you have a presentation or speaking engagement try to work out beforehand; you’ll be at your peak when you have to perform. In the long term, it can even help starve off brain aging and Alzheimer’s. This works on the cellular level through neuroplasticity, the ability of the brain to improve itself with blood flow and levels of brain-derived protein. He calls it “miracle-gro” for the brain, and it all comes from regular exercise!

4) Exercise Helps Impulse Control

Exercise helps trigger endorphins, which improve the prioritizing functions of the brain. After exercise, your ability to sort out priorities improves, allowing you to block out distractions and better concentrate on the task at hand.

If you are in the Toronto area, and are looking for a fun, safe, body positive environment to get your exercise in?

Come train with us!


Iron Lion Training provides nutrition, fitness, business coaching and corporate wellness programs! We specialize in safe approaches to strength and conditioning for sport and fitness, and a smart approach to helping you maximize your own life and business.

We are a compassionate company that helps our client build a base of ability, before testing those abilities.

Using simple (but not easy) methods, we help clients build a better relationship with health and nutrition.

Our classes are up and running, with strength training, boxing, and bootcamps offered in the AM, afternoons, and evenings!

Our background is authentic – Steph was a Canadian Golden Gloves Champion, while Ron won a Raw Masters National Powerlifting championship. We have been involved in strength and conditioning for decades, and have extensive nutritional certifications. But we also have insight into the lives of our 9-5 clients, as both of us worked in corporate Canada for many years as well. This helps us to empathize with the challenges of our clients.


Coach Ron & Coach Steph at the CPF’s Womens Open

Curious about Boxing, but a little intimidated?

Curious about Powerlifting, but a little intimidated?

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