Resistance Exercise And Mental Health

Did you know that close to 1 in 5 Americans experience a mental illness? It’s true, 43.8 million adults experience mental illness in a given year. A sad fact is that many individuals, especially minorities aren’t receiving adequate services or treatment for their mental illness.

Did you know that as part of a healthy lifestyle, resistance exercise can help reduce symptoms of mental illness? Aside from medications and therapy, maintaining a healthy lifestyle that includes eating a diet rich in nutritious whole foods, having a strong social support system, regularly doing activities that you enjoy and having daily physical activity including resistance exercise can help to manage the symptoms of mental illness.

Anxiety disorders are the most commonly diagnosed condition, affecting 18.1% of the U.S. population or roughly 40 million Americans. Sadly, 60% of individuals with an anxiety disorder do not receive treatment. Major depression commonly occurs with anxiety and affects about 6.7 percent of the U.S. population.

Research has shown that resistance exercise can lead to reductions in both anxiety symptoms among healthy adults and symptoms of depression among patients with diagnosed depression.

It’s suggested that exercise improves hormonal production and increases neurotransmitter activity which stimulates new nerve cell production although the exact mechanisms still need more investigation.

Exercise also helps you sleep better, which will make you feel more rested and with higher energy levels the next day. An improved body composition from exercise can also boost your self esteem. Lastely, exercise boosts your self confidence as you’re able to finish challenging workouts and make small wins.

Do you know someone with a mental illness? How has exercise affected them?

Let us know in the comments below.