Exercise & Mental Health: Tips for Men’s Mental Health Month
The Active Life | The Great Outdoors

Exercise & Mental Health: Tips for Men’s Mental Health Month

by Jeffery Racheff

“In a bad mood? Get moving.” Yes, that sounds like the sort of advice a crusty gym teacher might give to a grumpy teenage goth, but for a good reason. Moving your body can get your mind moving as well.


From short walks to marathons, exercise has long been a strategy for boosting your mood and improving mental health – and the world’s best athletes agree.


To help raise awareness for Men’s Mental Health Month, we’re spotlighting some helpful tips about the intersection between exercise and mental health. We’ve also chatted with several professional triathletes from the Every Man Jack Tri-Team about how exercise has reduced their stress, provided stability in unstable times, and even helped them find purpose.



“No matter what I was going through, good or bad, exercise has always been a great anchor for me. It's something I know I can always rely on to feel better and more grounded.”
- Jeff Scarella, Every Man Jack Triathlon Team Member



When is Men’s Mental Health Month?


The entire month of June is dedicated to men’s mental health. It’s a time when both professional health organizations and companies share materials to help educate men, boys, and their families about the importance of positive health attitudes and preventive health practices.


Of course, don’t let that stop you from working on well-being and checking in on the men in your life. They need you for more than just 30 days out of the year.


Why is Men’s Mental Health Month Important?


A hidden epidemic is taking a toll on American men. Of the 150 million guys in the U.S., an estimated 6 million suffer from depression – and that number may be even higher considering male depression often goes unreported.


Men’s Mental Health Month offers people a chance to talk openly about mental health issues, including depression, while sharing strategies for how to live happier, healthier lives.



“Exercise represents the intersection between my mental and physical well-being. It provides a release that enables emotional stability and personal self-confidence that allows me to show up best for my family, employees, and friends." 
- Matthew Malone, 4x IRONMAN World Championships Finisher & Every Man Jack Triathlon Team Member



How Can Exercise Improve Mental Health?


It’s not just about muscles. Regular physical exercise has been shown to have benefits that are both physiological and psychological. While science is still discovering just how good it is for us, here are a few of the more studied results.


  • A Natural High
  • Exercise promotes the release of endorphins: chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers and mood elevators. This is often referred to as the "runner's high," but any moderate to intense physical activity can bring about this feeling.


  • Reduction in Stress Hormones
  • Regular physical activity reduces the levels of the body's stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol. By lowering these hormones, exercise helps alleviate feelings of stress and anxiety.


  • Improved Sleep
  • Exercise can also help to regulate sleep patterns, which is critical for mental health. Better sleep can improve mood, cognitive functions, and overall mental health.


  • Increased Self-Esteem and Self-Efficacy
  • Regular exercise can boost self-esteem and increase feelings of self-worth. Achieving fitness goals, even small ones, can lead to feelings of accomplishment and empower individuals to take charge of other aspects of their life.


  • Better Brain Plasticity
  • Physical activity can stimulate the production of new brain cells (neurogenesis) and improve the plasticity of the brain, which enhances learning and memory. This is particularly beneficial for cognitive functions and in combating the cognitive decline associated with aging.


    “In this world of constant distractions my exercise breaks are a blessing giving me an opportunity to think and clear my mind without technology. These are even more important on busy stressful days so I can think clearly, prioritize, and get back on track!”
    - Michael Vanacora, Every Man Jack Triathlon Team Member



    Every Man Jack Running


    How to Incorporate Exercise Into Your Routine


    The idea of going from couch potato to superjock is what keeps a lot of guys from ever getting off the couch in the first place. But you don’t climb a mountain in a single leap. So here are some practical steps to start you off gradually.


  • Set Clear Goals
  • Define what you want to achieve with your exercise routine, whether it's losing weight, building muscle, improving cardiovascular health, or enhancing mental well-being. Setting clear and achievable goals can help keep you motivated.


  • Start Small
  • If you're new to exercising, start with small, manageable activities. Even 10-15 minutes of exercise can be beneficial. Gradually increase the duration and intensity as your fitness improves.


  • Make It Convenient
  • Choose activities that fit easily into your daily life. If you can't spend time going to a gym, consider home workouts, jogging around your neighborhood, or cycling to work. You can also use fitness apps to help track your progress, suggest new workouts, and keep you engaged.


  • Find a Workout Buddy
  • Exercising with a friend can increase your motivation and make it more enjoyable. You're more likely to stick with your routine when you have someone to share the experience with.


    “Exercise lets me get uninterrupted time with my own thoughts where I can think about situations, decisions, or goals with my family or career.” 

    - Ben Fuqua, USA Triathlon All-American 2014 - 2018 & Every Man Jack Triathlon Team Member


    Take Care of Yourself After a Workout


    Self-care following a workout (or any physical exercise) is just as important when it comes to your mental health. Whether you’re rewarding yourself for hard work or just cleaning up, it’s all part of a balanced routine that will pay dividends in the long run.


  • Practice Good Hygiene
  • Work up a sweat? Ward off bacteria on your skin by showering well and changing into clean clothes. Not only will you help prevent the spread of germs, but the freshness you feel will give a boost to your self-confidence.


  • Avoid Harsh Chemicals
  • Before you shower, make sure to read the label on your body wash first. A lot of men’s products use ingredients that can irritate, dry out, or damage sensitive skin – but not Every Man Jack.

    Our products (like our popular Sandalwood Body Wash) are made from Naturally Derived Ingredients and are safe for all skin types, so you can feel good about what you put on your skin.


  • Get Proper Nutrition
  • Maintaining a balanced diet that’s rich in nutrients – such as omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and complex carbohydrates – can go a long way toward supporting your mental well-being.


  • Get Healthy Sleep
  • Your body needs to repair and re-energize after exercise, and quality sleep is the best way to do that. Poor sleep can lead to increased stress levels, impaired judgment, and decreased motivation, making it harder to stick to fitness goals.



    “I love to eat and exercise, and with both in place my mental health will always be high. My favorite thing in the world is to explore places on a bike while seeing different communities and cultures in their natural setting.”
    - Dylan Delacruz, Every Man Jack Triathlon Team Member 



    Move Your Body. Move Your Mind.


    As a brand that helps men take care of themselves and the world around them, we’re heavily invested in making sure guys have the tools and resources to live happy, healthy lives. Self-care is a massive part of that.


    By taking the time to incorporate physical activity into your daily life – just like all of the incredible athletes we heard from above – you can set yourself up to lead a more energetic, engaged, and fulfilling life.