Mental Health and Athletics


Courtesy of Daisy Tiner

Hailey Donahue is deadlifting in the Silver Creek weight room, where iron works and weight room are held.

When it comes to working out and personal athletics, it’s a great way to move the body and stay in shape. But how can it affect the mind? When working out, the body produces a natural hormone, endorphins. Endorphins interact with the receptors in the brain that reduce one’s perception of pain, they also trigger a positive feeling in the body similar to morphine.

Exercise can be an excellent activity for students, especially when it comes to balancing school. It can help with scoring better grades for tests, as well as being more attentive due to lower stress levels and better sleep. Daisy Tiner, a student at Silver Creek High School, shares how it affects them and their school life.

“Mental health can have a massive impact on someone’s experience with school. Poor mental health can make any and every aspect of school exhausting and altogether much more difficult to manage,” Tiner said.

As much as it affects moods chemically, working out can also genuinely make someone happy, especially if it is something that is loved and has a passion for.

Tucker Beasley, a 9th grader at Silver Creek has been partaking in track and field since he was seven. He participates in the long-distance running event, and even coaches at Altona.

“Running changed my life and I want to share that passion with others,” Beasley states.

Another huge aspect is how it can affect a persons view of themselves, their confidence, and self-perception, leaving someone feeling significantly better about themselves in their mind and body.

Luca Falke, a 9th grader at Silver Creek High School, lifts weights in his home gym.

“It makes me feel good since it’s something I can control, it’s something you can see a change in so it feels good. It makes me feel better about myself since it makes me feel like I’m working on my insecurities,” Falke states

According to Jazzercise, “ [exercise] alleviates low self-esteem and social withdrawal. In place of these negative emotions, exercise boosts self-esteem and cognitive function.”

Having good self-esteem can be very much life-changing and beneficial to the mind. A prime example of this is a 9th grader at Silver Creek named Nova Williams, who has suffered with self-esteem in the past, but exercise has improved this for him.

“Working out made all the difference for me, I went from being out of shape and cardiovascularly out of shape to having nice muscle definition and better cardio endurance. Which in turn boosts my confidence around people,” Nova states. He continues to work out today and it positively affects his life.

Jared Dettellbach, a long-distance runner who has been running for a couple of years after his parents got him into it, now continues it for his own enjoyment, running also positively affects his self-esteem.

“Knowing that I am healthier and fitter helps very much with my self-esteem which is universally helpful,” Dettelbach says.

The school psychologist, Leanne Murray, recommends any type of exercise that is beneficial for people with mental health issues, even just simple movement, can make a big difference.

“There’s a lot of saying that say move your body, change your mind; objects in motion stay in motion” Murray states “In that situation, movement helps you, getting out of bed can be a huge wall to get over when you depressed it’s easier to stay in bed, but the second you get up and start moving everything flows better”

“It helps you to see you can do hard things though working out is really challenging but can correlate to real life as well.” Murray says.

Working out can become such a life changer, and can be beneficial in so many ways
Even with a busy lifestyle, you can still find ways to get the benefits of exercise, and still feel benefited from it. Next time you left feeling stressed or overwhelmed, consider even taking a short walk, a little gose a long way.