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Does Exercise Improve Mental Health?

Updated: Apr 2, 2021

We live in a time where many of our friends and families are suffering silently. They are often prescribed medicine but cannot seem to find other ways to support their mental health. Doctors are great at prescribing medicine in great detail, however they are stumped when it comes to recommending exercise activity in the same detail. We will review a few different studies to provide you with better insight as to how fitness can impact the mental health of an individual.

Study One (Cardio, Strength, Depression)

There were 3 groups in this study. Group one did cardio 3 days per week for an hour at a very intense rate. Group two did only resistance exercise 3 times per week at moderate pace. Group 3 did no exercise at all.

Results: 80% of Group 1 and 2 no longer met the criteria of Depression vs only 15% of the non-exercise group

Study Two (Energy Spent/Stretching)

In this 5 Group study, Group one did only stretching. Group 2 burned 7 kcal/kg/week over 3 days. Group 3 burned 7 kcal/kg/week over 5 days. Group 4 burned 17.5 kcal/kg/week over 3 days. Finally, Group 5 burned 17.5 kcal/kg/week over 5 days.

Results: Only Groups 4 and 5 saw improvements in mental health and reduction of symptoms by 47%

Study Three (Intensity)

This 3 group study consisted of Group one performing no exercise. Group 2 performed strength exercises 3 times per week at high intensity for 8 weeks. Group 3 performed strength exercises 3 times per week at a low intensity for 8 weeks.

Results: Group 1 reduced symptoms of mental health issues by 21% without any intervention or medicine. Group 2 reduced symptoms by 61%, and Group 3 reduced symptoms by 28%.

Study Four (Duration)

One study shows that exercise frequency is much more important than the duration or the intensity. We find that 9 weeks of duration minimum is optimal to see results.

Study Five (Exercise as Medicine?)

This study found that exercise was as equally effective as medication. With the two combined it showed improved results.

In Conclusion...

We can clearly see that focusing on the exercise intensity, and consistency, there is a positive correlation with Mental Health. Exercise exhaustion produces Endorphins which make you feel good and accomplished. Completing exercise routines provide empowerment and control over your own life. Exercise can be a nice distraction from the negativity around you. It can improve mood and sleep as well. Finally Serotonin the happy chemical is produced in the brain from contentment.

If you would like more information about our Fitness Services, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us. We cater to ages 13 and up with exercise and other wellness options.


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