Exercise As Medicine: Protect Your Mental Health

An effective prescription for anxiety, depression and more

How many of us do you think, at some point during our lives, will end up seeking the guidance of a therapist to get through a challenging time? Probably quite a few, right? We all have varying degrees of mental health – sometimes life throws us curveballs that throws us off balance and creates havoc in our lives.

I am a strong believer that our mental health plays a significant role to our physical health. In today’s culture, think about all the effort we put in to losing weight and enhancing our outward appearance thinking that if everything looks good on the outside that translates to how we feel on the inside. Needless to say that’s false thinking. If we spent half of that energy on our mental well-being, we would be much better off.

The good news is that if you’re the kind of person who makes your physical health a priority, you are also protecting your mental health. Exercise is now being accepted as a form of medicine for mental health conditions.

The only no-cost, no side effects prescription

“Although an active lifestyle has always been recognized as the best way to achieve health in the entire history of civilization, over the last two decades, the concept of exercise as medicine (citation omitted), or as a preventive method, became increasingly accepted. Some authors consider physical exercise as a “polypill” that, besides many benefits in preventing and treating several diseases, has the advantage of not generating adverse responses and of being a low cost alternative compared to drugs, surgeries, and hospitalizations,” according to a study published in Front Psychiatry.

Dr. Jordan Metzl, sports medicine physician at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, explains that exercise is “available to every single person, has zero side effects and works in some capacity for everybody who takes it.” Metzl adds, “And no drug fits that safety profile with that efficacy.”

If you want to learn more about how exercise improves your mental health, check out some of these reader favorites:

  1. How Exercise Boosts Kids Brain Power
  2. Exercise Rewires Your Brain
  3. How Your Physical Body Affects Your Emotional Health
  4. This Is Your Brain on Exercise

 

Are you ready to incorporate more physical activity into your schedule? Your mind and body will thank you!

Rose Caiola
Inspired. Rewired.

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