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Finding Mental Peace Through Physical Fitness

Big. Swole. Jacked. Shredded. These are some of the common words used by males when asked what they are doing when at the gym. The prospect of a visually appealing physique or a competition worthy bench press are usually in the forefront of their minds while consuming their pre workouts or downing their protein shakes. The sound of plates clanging together, or dumbbells being dropped on the ground is music to their ears while wearing cut off shirts or baggy hoodies.

That was me in the beginning of my fitness journey. The only benefits I felt I was getting from the gym were the tangible ones, the little bicep vein, more rounded shoulders, partial abdominal definition, and harder pec muscles but I didn’t think about all the benefits that I was getting that I could not see. I didn’t realize how on days I worked out I was constantly in a good mood; when my body was sore, I was reminded of the heavy lift I did or the high volume super set and it made me look forward to the next lifting day; that on the days I missed the gym due to work or my schedule that I would miss my time in the gym. It is when I connected the dots and made the correlation between working out and the “mental gains” that the gym transformed into more than just a dungeon of iron, it became my temple of peace.

There is more and more research showing the positive mental benefits of exercise. A study by the Mayo Clinic showed exercise helped relieve the symptoms of both anxiety and depression by releasing chemicals in your brain that help you feel good (endorphins). The study also noted that the increase in strength and muscle tissue will help build more confidence and boost productivity at work, increases social interactions, and helps individuals cope with negativity in a positive way. Their study showed too that by being in the gym focused on the workout, the brain doesn’t think as much about the day-to-day struggles and stresses and gives the individual a sort of “time out” from the world.

If you do not have a membership to a traditional big box gym or do not have the latest in in-home workout equipment do not be alarmed! Studies show that you get these mental benefits not only from lifting heavy weights, but you can also get them from all sorts of physical activity. Take a 30-minute walk outside, do a stretch on your living room floor, or knock out some pushups and sit ups on commercial breaks during the game. The body is designed to move, and it seems the more we move, the more mental peace we get!

Joel Quick is the Owner of Quick’s Fitness LLC and operates out of Your Personal Best Fitness Studio in Mooresville, NC. His passion for fitness and mental peace is only outweighed by his love for his family and helping others. If you need help with your fitness journey or just want another perspective on fitness, feel free to email him at

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