Many will say, and doctors included, that exercise is the cure for all ills. It’s philosophical at best, but a recent study suggests that exercise may indeed help to battle several mental illnesses especially in young people.
The study was comprised of 38 adults between 18 and 35 years of age in England. All had experienced at least one episode of psychosis. Psychosis is a mental disorder wherein a person can lose touch with reality and experience both hallucinations and delusions. Each of the subjects were on anti psychotic medications as well as care for their condition via early-intervention. Thirty-one of the subjects took part in a 10 week program where exercise was applied. The seven remaining subjects didn’t participate in an exercise program as per the researchers guidelines.
When the results came in, it was found that the subjects who engaged in exercise experienced a decrease in the frequency and severity of their symptoms of 27%. In addition, a drop of symptoms of 8% was found in the control group.
The senior researcher of the project concluded that exercise should be used as intervention for the early signs of psychosis. He feels that exercise has a double benefit for both mental and physical well being of a patient.
Joseph Firth, postgraduate researcher student from the Institute of Brain, Behavior, and Mental Health at the University of Manchester, England is the lead researcher and his findings could make significant change s in how mental health treatments are applied.
Today’s sedentary lifestyle that has increased over the recent decades would sure coincide with the rise of mental disorders. Perhaps exercise is what the body and mind need to be well balanced and more efficient. Considering the unnatural chemicals and rugs and toxins that have been introduced to the human body over the past hundred years, it calls for more exercise to flush the material from the body and mind lest they accumulate and cause chemical imbalances.
As this approach is studied more, it would be best for participants and therapists to get professional exercise trainers to come in and guide things along. Keeping meticulous statistics on improvement would be of great help as well as this data would help other researchers in determining exactly why exercise works so well in this respect.
Certainly further research is needed, but from this research alone, it’s a good bet that a nutritional diet, good exercise regimen may well be the key to preventing and treating some forms if not the severity of mental disorders.
Image credit: kzenon (123r.com)