(RxWiki News) Exercise has long been known to improve physical health, but did you know it can also improve your mental health?
That’s according to lots of research on various types of exercise and various mental health effects.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, exercise has been linked to a wide range of positive mental health effects, on top of better heart health, weight loss and maintenance, reduced blood pressure, lower cholesterol and a reduced risk of some cancers.
The most basic potential mental health benefit of regular exercise is a reduction in depression symptoms, but the effects of exercise can actually be more complex than that. For example, some past research has found that stress was less likely to lead to depression in those who exercised regularly.
Meanwhile, other research has suggested that even very small amounts of exercise can have positive mental health benefits. While health officials recommend 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week, some exercise appears to be better than nothing.
Walking, running, biking and strength training, in particular, have been linked to reduced depression, according to the Cleveland Clinic. But really, anything that gets your heart pumping and your body moving is likely to deliver some mood benefits.
While the American Psychiatric Association does now recommend exercise as a depression treatment, it only does so if the exercise goes along with other known treatments, such as medication and therapy.
If you are experiencing symptoms of depression, anxiety or another mental health problem, seek qualified medical help as soon as possible. And always speak with your health care provider before starting any new exercise routine.