Exercise is an Effective Treatment for Mental Health Conditions

By Heide Kennedy, Arizona Farm Bureau Communications Intern

We’ve long known that getting adequate exercise is vital to our overall health. But did you know that the benefits of lifting weights, running, stretching, and more go further than just improving our physique? It has been shown that exercise is an amazing treatment for mental health issues, possibly even the best option available.

physical exercise

Get physical to stay mentally healthy as well as physically healthy.  (photo credit: BigStockPhoto.com)

Researchers looked at the results of almost 100 different studies that have been done previously on exercise and its impact on mental health. After comparing the findings of each individual study in this meta-analysis, researchers concluded that exercise is very effective, if not the most effective at treating mental health issues such as anxiety and depression.

Interestingly, specific exercises help with specific mental health conditions. For example, resistance training is great at treating depression, while more focused exercise such as yoga is better for anxiety.  They also found that shorter sessions of moderate to high-intensity exercise were most effective for the overall treatment of mental health issues rather than long and slow sessions.

So, grab a set of weights or throw on some running shoes and get moving! Not only will your physical health benefit from it, but also your mental health.

For more articles about exercise, check out the following from the Fill Your Plate blog!

  1. The Weekend Exercise Warrior: It’s Better than Nothing – Fill Your Plate Blog
  2. Cardio: The Best Exercise – Fill Your Plate Blog
  3. Fun Ways to Exercise This Summer (For All Ages!) – Fill Your Plate Blog
  4. Exercise and Alzheimer’s – Fill Your Plate Blog
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