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Exercise for better mental health

May 23 to 29 is Exercise Right Week, 2016.  The focus during that time is to highlight the importance of regular physical activity for good mental health and to prevent and manage mental health conditions.  Yes, it seems that there is still a lot of truth in those old sayings like “Healthy mind, healthy body.” In fact new research shows that people who take regular exercise have greater emotional well-being than people who don’t.

Many people say that if you are feeling down, or are upset, then taking some aerobic exercise, like going for a run or to the gym can improve how you feel.  That new study put the belief to the test. Researchers asked 80 people about how they respond to things that make them feel unhappy then randomly instructed them to either jog (an aerobic exercise ) or stretch (a non-aerobic exercise) for 30 minutes. Then they watched a scene from a sad movie. After that they were surveyed about their emotion regulation and then shown a scene from a comedy.

Those who said they felt unable to make themselves feel better emotionally also said they felt sad when surveyed across the study. What was different was that participants that did the aerobics felt less sad by the end of the study compared to the people who had not.

The researchers concluded the exercise acted as a form “goal-direction”, enabling people to overcome the negative feelings compared to the people who had not taken any exercise.

So it seems that a simple action like going for a run, or spending some time at the gym can have a positive effect.  At Retreat South we use a range of therapies when planning a treatment with you, including physical therapies. So, in addition to the ‘talk-based’ psychology therapies we can make a treatment plan with you that include exercise and personal fitness training to help you on the road to recovery.

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