The Mental Health Benefits Of Exercise.

When it comes to treatment of all mental health and mood disorders…from depression and anxiety, schizophrenia, bipolar and so on. Studies have suggested that physical exercise is so effective at alleviating symptoms in patients that it could reduce the time they are in acute facilities and cut down the reliance on certain medications.

We all know that meds are used to treat the problem first, but exercise was never considered to be that important for a treatment option. We now know it’s very effective, it could become as important as the medication that’s prescribed. David Tomasi who’s a psychotherapist lecturer at the university of Vermont, and psychiatry group therapist at the Vermont medical centre, lead studies at the impatient psychiatric facility.

The inpatient facility, which is normally crowded, and where patients experience severe discomfort and distress, they were typically prescribed psychotropic meds first, rather than natural remedies like exercise, to alleviate symptoms such as depression, anger, and anxiety. Tomasi estimates that there is only a few psychiatric hospitals in the U.S that provide gym facilities for the patients. Most hospitals just rely on the classical medications to treat the symptoms.

Tomasi, along with UVMMC’s Emily Reyns and Sheri Gates, built a gym exclusively for around 100 patients in the psychiatric unit, and introduced a 60 minute structured exercise and nutrition program into their treatment plans. They monitored their mood, self image and self esteem, before and after the sessions, to see what the affect the exercise sessions had on their psychiatric symptoms.

The patients reported lower levels of depression, anxiety, anger, and had higher self esteem, and improved moods. Tomasi, Reyns and Gates found an average of 95 % of the patients said that their moods improved after the sessions, and 63% said they felt happier, than they did before the sessions. While 91.8% of the patients said they were pleased with the way their bodies felt after the exercises.

This is a fantastic result because when people are limited with what they can talk about while in a psychotic state (talk therapy or psychotherapy) because it’s very hard to receive a message when in that frame of mind. With exercise they can use their body and not rely on emotions alone.

For me personally I think this should be priority to provide strategies for a more natural treatment for depression, anxiety and mood disorders. If every psychiatric facility therapies included exercise in particular as a primary resource for patients psycho-physical wellbeing, I think this could really help a lot of people with their condition.

So for anyone that hasn’t read my previous blogs regarding my new keep fit group, you are welcome to join us. When I say “us” I mean Jen from… https://prairieskywellness.ca/ and myself. We will be starting our walking program soon, so if this blog has inspired anyone, then just comment your interest on here, and dust off your gym apparel! cheers. 😊👍

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22 thoughts on “The Mental Health Benefits Of Exercise.

  1. As you know my walking is a no failure, compared to the urge to run, but never started due to other things. But walking has never failed me, regardless of mood, etc.. I will get in somewhere.
    My walking at the moment, has reduced slightly these last not quite two weeks, due to foot pain. So I am waiting on thus reducing much more, or clearing completely, so I don’t aggravate it further, then I hope to concentrate on my walking by probably going somewhere different I may not have seen before, whether be local, or a little further afield at times.
    I wish your group well and I hope you get more. I haven’t signed up, because due to my time with other things and making sure I do go out and about walking, means I wouldn’t be able to commit to a group discussion. But I’d be happy to give a shout out on my blog about your group. Maybe share your blog post where you first announced this group.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I’m convinced I would die without exercise. I still take medication, but I know exercise has always helped keep my illness in check. If I don’t exercise first thing in the morning, I am cranky the rest of the day. Part of the crankiness comes from feeling lazy and worthless when I don’t exercise, and the other part is probably the lack of endorphins I’m used to getting. Maybe saying I’d die is a bit dramatic, but I’m pretty certain I’d quickly go into a pretty bad and dangerous depression if I went too long without exercising. I’m definitely not going to tempt fate. Plus, my diet kinda sucks, so excerising a lot helps me get away with eating some unhealthy foods.

    I enjoyed your post! 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • I know exactly what you mean about the endorphins. When I was a marathon runner I used to get that same feeling if I missed a training session, I would feel guilty and overall just feel shit. I’m glad you enjoyed my post 😊👍

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I think in the one study the nutrition program is super important as well. When you eat healthy you have more energy and for longer, and exercise makes you feel better and let’s you do more

    Liked by 1 person

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