Treating Mental Health with Exercise

An Asian woman running in the park. She has on a gray tank top, and there is a towel around her neck. Ketut Subiyanto/Pexels

A new study suggests that exercise is more effective than both medication and counseling in treating mental health, especially for people with depression, HIV, and kidney disease as well as pregnant and postpartum birthing people. Increasing the intensity and length of the workout can maximize the impact and greatly improve mental health overall.

“It is important to note that while exercise can be an effective tool for managing mental health conditions, people with a mental health condition should work with a health professional to develop a comprehensive treatment plan – rather than going it alone with a new exercise regime.

A treatment plan may include a combination of lifestyle approaches, such as exercising regularly, eating a balanced diet, and socialising, alongside treatments such as psychotherapy and medication.

But exercise shouldn’t be viewed as a ‘nice to have’ option. It is a powerful and accessible tool for managing mental health conditions – and the best part is, it’s free and comes with plenty of additional health benefits.”