5 Physical Activities That Boost Your Mental Strength

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Verywell / Julie Bang

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Every Friday on The Verywell Mind Podcast, Editor-in-Chief Amy Morin, LCSW, shares the “Friday Fix”—a short episode featuring a quick, actionable tip or exercise to help you manage a specific mental health issue or concern.

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Friday Fix: Episode 192

You may find yourself thinking you need more mental strength so you can go to the gym. But what if the opposite were true? You need to go to the gym to build mental strength.

Most people focus on the physical muscle they build from exercise. But, physical activity is also a great way to build mental muscle. 

Fortunately, you don’t necessarily need a gym membership to bolster your mental strength. There are plenty of physical activities you can do from home or outside to build mental strength.

You also don’t need to do torturous workouts that prove you can stand pain (a common myth about mental strength training). Sometimes, a few simple physical activities might be enough to help you feel better, think clearer, and gain motivation.

From taking a walk in nature to reduce symptoms of depression to practicing yoga to relieve symptoms of PTSD, moving your body is really good for your mind.

Don’t wait until you develop a mental illness to get moving, though. Physical activity can also prevent some mental health issues and bolster your mental strength. 

On this episode of The Verywell Mind Podcast, I explain five physical activities–from walking to weight lifting–and discuss the science behind how these strategies build mental strength.

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By Amy Morin, LCSW
Amy Morin, LCSW, is the Editor-in-Chief of Verywell Mind. She's also a licensed clinical social worker, psychotherapist, and international bestselling author. Her books, including "13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do," have been translated into more than 40 languages. Her TEDx talk,  "The Secret of Becoming Mentally Strong," is one of the most viewed talks of all time.