On this bitesize episode of Feel Better, Live More, Dr. Ranjan Chatterjee spoke with clinical-academic physiotherapist, Brendon Stubbs, about the benefits of regular exercise for mental wellbeing.

Their goal? To reframe the conversation around movement and exercise—so it’s less about appearance and weight—and more about how exercise can positively affect mental health.  

Why it’s about so much more than how you look:

On the pod, Stubbs noted that consistent exercise can actually change the structure of your brain, your nerve cells, and the way those nerve cells connect with each other. He noted that: 

“Ten minutes of very light activity, the equivalent to gentle walking, could result in meaningful changes in electrical activity happening in the hippocampus and other emotional processing areas of the brain.”

What the data says:

On the pod, Stubbs cited a 2018 research paper, published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, comparing the daily physical activity of 260,000 people—over an average of 7.5 years—with their risk of developing depression in the future.

The result? Those who were more physically active in their daily lives were 15% less likely to develop depression at some point in the future. 

The key to exercising consistently?

Finding an exercise that you enjoy, whether it’s a spin class, a surf, or (our personal favorite) running with a friend