We all have a mental health, you may have a mental illness, although a little confusing mental health and mental illness exist on separate scales, whereby at any point in time, people experiencing poor mental health (i.e. feeling down) may not necessarily be experiencing a mental illness.
People who exercise regularly have better mental health and emotional wellbeing, and lower rates of mental illness.
Exercise is important for people with mental illness – it not only boosts our mood, concentration and alertness, but improves our cardiovascular and overall physical health.
Why Exercise For Mental Health ?
There is mounting evidence that suggests exercise is an effective component of treatment for people living with acute and chronic mental illness.
With exercise making a big difference in mood and promoting a positive mental health, whilst also helping to reduce the symptoms of mental illness, there is a significant need for exercise to be a fundamental part of mental health treatment.
What Exercise To Do For Mental Health ?
It’s important to remember that it’s not about what type of exercise is the best kind, it’s about what works for the individual, and that doing something is better than doing nothing at all. Even one workout a week is known to have great benefits.
Depression: Aerobic exercise and weight lifting have been shown to be effective in reducing the symptoms of major depression.
Moderate intensity aerobic exercise such as walking, running or cycling: 30 – 60 minutes per session at least 3 days per week.
High intensity resistance training: 3 sets of 8 repetitions for 60 minutes at least 3 days each week.
Anxiety: Research recommends 30 minutes, 3 times, every week. An Accredited Exercise Physiologist can also help with strategies to achieve this. For a quick fix, remember that just 10 minutes of walking in nature can lift your mood and decrease fatigue levels!
PTSD: Exercise is an effective component of treatment for mental disorders like PTSD and
can help manage symptoms and reduce risk of secondary health conditions. Programs will need to be individualised, as everyone’s experience of PTSD is different.
Research is building to support the role of exercise as treatment for those with PTSD
and the significant benefits it provides in reducing symptoms and managing the
secondary conditions that are prevalent among those with PTSD.
Moderate to high intensity aerobic exercise (60-80% of age predicted max heart rate)
can reduce depressive, anxiety related and PTSD symptom severity, and it can serve
as an additional form of treatment that is easily accessible and has minimal risk of
adverse side effects.
Want to get started with Exercise Physiology but not sure how. Did you know we are Accredited Exercise Physiologists in Wollongong and offer services through Medicare, DVA, NDIS, Workcover with an appropriate referral, you may also be eligible for exercise physiology with your private health insurance.
Give our team a call on (02) 42590384, or hit the BOOK NOW link on the home page.
Exercise and Mental Health: An E Book by ESSA