Exercise may not be front of mind for those suffering from psychological injury or illness. However, alongside psychological intervention and pharmaceutical intervention, exercise intervention is an effective and safe treatment for many psychological conditions.
The most commonly seen psychological presentations in our clinic come in four major categories although there are certainly other less common presentations that we offer our services to. These are:
These conditions often overlap and we can see aspects of all of them together in many instances. They all have one major thing in common, they have all been studied to decrease in severity with appropriate exercise intervention.
Exercise has been studied to reduce effectively reduce depression, anxiety, and help manage stress, and reduce the symptoms of PTSD such as sleeplessness and hypervigilance.
So how much exercise and what kind?
Most studies in my review are based on aerobic exercise at a minimum of 3-4 days per week with medium-high intensity. There appears to be a dose response relationship in that those who exercise more frequently and for a higher overall volume have a greater reduction in symptoms. The best way to find out the best amount and type for you, is to work with an Exercise Physiologist to find the optimal Exercise routine for your unique presentation.
Why doesn’t everyone with or without mental illness exercise frequently to help regulate mood?
The answer is – they should. And many people do. You’ll find the most successful, stable and impressive people all exercise regularly and understand the power of exercise to regulate emotion. When you sit down and have a real talk with them though, you’ll find out that they too are battling with their own mind over some thing or another. No person is without psychological struggle, and we could all benefit from regular exercise to help us gain back some control of how we feel.
For many people lifestyle factors such as exercise, diet, and sleep are enough to have a healthy body and mind. Others will require more help, in the form of speaking with psychologists, or getting help from a psychiatrist. It is important to seek the help you need, and not think that any one method is the be all and end all or that you are alone in how you feel.
If you are battling with your mind, no matter how big or small the problem may be, daily exercise is a smart move as a complementary therapy. If you are unable to get motivated, or are unsure where to start, or perhaps battling with additional physical injuries – book an appointment with your local Exercise Physiologist. We are the lifestyle specialists, and can help you take control of your exercise, sleep, and diet. We also communicate with your Doctor and Psychologist to make sure you get the best outcome, and support from all sides.
P.s. Use the code 50OFF when booking online to get 50% off your first appointment