How Exercise Impacts Your Mental Health

Grit Box Charleston coaches having fun in the studio

Your mental well-being is just as important as your physical well-being. But did you know the two go hand-in-hand? You’ve probably heard the saying, you’re only one workout away from a good mood—and it’s true!

We caught up with some of your favorite Grit Box coaches and front desk team members to get their perspectives on the impact that exercise has on their mental health.

You’ve likely seen Kristen’s smiling face at the front desk as you check in for class. She said she’s become more aware of exercise’s effect on her mental health after an injury sidelined her.

“This year has been specifically eye-opening due to an injury that completely immobilized me. It has made me hyper-aware of the immense effect working out has on my mental well-being and the positivity a little (or a lot) of sweat has.”

From boosting your mood to increasing your energy levels, here are 6 ways your mental health can benefit from exercise:

1. Exercise reduces anxiety and stress
Coach Brittany, Grit Box Charleston

Having a bad day? Take it out on the bag—kickboxing is a great way to relieve stress. The release of serotonin and dopamine will leave you feeling happier and relaxed.

“Boxing helps me relieve tension. Working with children and adults all day can be stressful and frustrating. Going to Grit Box and kickboxing in general, helps me focus on my strength and highlights the definition of grit; pushing through obstacles despite the challenge ahead,” coach Brittany said.

Allison echoes Brittany, saying that her mental health has improved so much since she started working out at Grit Box. Whether you like to hit the bag or hit the pavement, exercise is a great way to relieve stress and clear your mind.

2. Exercise elevates your mood

“Exercising gives me purpose and a chance to start fresh every day. Stepping into the studio helps me realign my focus and sweat my worries away,” coach Brittany said.

Have you experienced a post-workout mood boost after a class at Grit Box? You’re not alone! Thirty-five percent of adults say that exercising puts them in a good mood, according to the American Psychological Association

“I’ve always noticed when I start my day out at Grit Box, I have more energy and I am in an all-around better mood,” Kristen said.

The release of endorphins helps reduce stress and makes you feel good. As Elle Woods once said, exercise gives you endorphins and endorphins make you happy.

3. Exercise boosts your self-esteem/confidence

“Boxing is BADASS,” Brittany said. “Hitting the heavy bag and sweating in such a fun and uplifting environment boosts my confidence and my passion for making others feel like a badass too.”

If you’ve taken a class with Brittany, you know she’ll be your #1 hype woman while pushing you to your limits. And nothing beats the feeling of accomplishment and empowerment. 

Researchers at the University of British Columbia found that women experienced a self-esteem boost immediately following a 30-minute workout.

4. Exercise increases energy levels

Grit Box classes combine high-intensity interval training and kickboxing for a full-body workout. 

“Not only is energy increased in the gym setting, but it makes me feel stronger, flexible, and open-minded when it comes to pushing myself to my limits,” Brittany said. “Even when I don’t feel energized to get the workout in, walking into the studio changes my attitude and sets me up for success.”

Having a regular exercise routine can also lead to healthier sleep patterns.

“Because of taking classes at Grit Box, I have more energy, sleep better at night, and have an overall healthier lifestyle because I now have the energy and motivation to maintain it,” Allison said.

members hang in the lobby after a Grit Box class

5. Exercise gives you a chance to socialize and encourages friendship

We all know that one of the best things about Grit Box is the Grit Gang! Brittany described it as an awesome, uplifting and loving community—and we couldn’t agree more.

“I love seeing individuals pushing themselves and each other. There isn’t a class that goes by where someone isn’t smiling, dancing, or commenting about the ass-kicking community they return to every day,” she said.

6. Exercise boosts cognitive function

Yep, even your brain can benefit from working out. Kickboxing makes your brain think and react faster, which sharpens your reflexes. 

“Kickboxing is technical, every movement has meaning and purpose,” Brittany said. “By challenging my technique and focusing on functional training, I am more likely to increase productivity and often in a better mood!”

Allison even credits Grit Box classes for helping improve her grades at school. 

“I went from having a B/C average in my classes to having an A/B average, and I credit Grit Box with helping me get those grades up. When I worked out regularly, I had more energy to study, and I focused WAY better, and that all manifested in higher grades,” she said. 

Everyone has their own motivations for exercising, but regardless of the reason behind it, everyone can experience the benefits that exercise has on their mental health. Give your brain a boost and check out a class at Grit Box! Schedule your 10 day trial today and come kick it with us!