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Exercise for Mental Health

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According to the World Health Organization about 970 million people live with some type of a mental disorder. Most doctors rely primarily on drugs to treat this type of illness, but a ground breaking new study by the University of South Australia is calling for exercise to be the main approach for managing these problems. This comprehensive research is the result of a massive meta-analysis that included 97 reviews, 1,039 trials and 128,119 participants. They concluded that physical activity is 1.5 times more effective than counselling or medication for improving the symptoms of depression, anxiety, and distress. 

The study also found that all types of physical activity and exercise produced these improvements of mental health. Walking, jogging, yoga, resistance training, Pilates, and just about anything else that keeps your body moving will work. In fact, the research shows that even a relatively small amount of exercise will make a positive change to your mental health. Lead researcher Dr Ben Singh says, “Despite the evidence that physical activity greatly improves mental health, it has not been widely adopted as a first-choice treatment. We hope that this review will underscore the need for exercise as a mainstay approach for managing depression and anxiety.”

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