Exercise and Mental Illness
Most associate the term health with physical health, but mental health also plays a major role in your well-being. Nearly five percent of the population of the United States suffers from a form of severe mental illness, according to the National Institutes of Mental Health, with individuals between the ages of 18 and 25 being the most affected.
Mental health relies on a number of factors, including genetics, but exercise and proper nutrition can help prevent or treat some forms of mental illness.
A regular exercise regime can benefit your mental health. Performing moderate-intensity aerobic exercise, such as cycling, for 30 minutes a day, three times a week, significantly reduces the symptoms of depression, according to Southwestern Medical Center at the University of Texas.
Low-intensity exercise also helps relieve depression, according to the Center, but not to the same extent as more vigorous workouts. If you suffer from depression, adding regular aerobics to your lifestyle might help you better control your disorder, or might even reduce your need for medication.
Following a healthy and balanced diet, as well as following a fitness program, all benefit your mental health, but cannot always replace traditional therapy or medication for mental illness. Talk with your doctor to find the best plan for you!