Psychiatry Associates Blog

Improving Mental Health Through Exercise

Fit people doing push-ups at the parkWhen it comes to nearly any aspect of health, you have likely heard that a healthy diet and exercise are key. Of course, you've heard it so often because it's true. The human body thrives on the right type of fuel and burning that fuel through energy. Doing so keeps us trim and strong. It builds muscle, eliminates fat, and keeps vital components like the cardiovascular system running smoothly. In addition, it is also beneficial to the brain, positively impacting factors such as mood, sleep, and the release of stress hormones.

Exercise Releases "Feel Good" Chemicals

If you've ever hit the gym or done some cardio to rev up your heart rate, you know that, even if you're dreading it beforehand, you always feel better after. This is because physical activity gives you an extra boost of "feel good" chemicals like serotonin and endorphins. Immediately following a workout, these chemicals can leave you with an improved mood. Keep it up, and that mood becomes more sustainable over time, even when you aren't in the gym!

Exercise Reduces Depression

The effectiveness of exercise for depression is astounding, with some patients reporting it to be as effective as medication in addressing their symptoms. Specific types of exercise reported to deliver the greatest benefits are aerobic, resistance training, flexibility, and balance. Practices such as yoga, tai chi, and walking are ideal choices.

If you find yourself struggling with conditions such as depression or anxiety, increased exercise is a good place to start. However, for moderate to severe cases, exercise alone will likely not be enough. If feelings of sadness or anxiousness continue despite your efforts, it may be time to see a psychiatrist. As medical doctors who specialize in mental health care, they can offer a wide variety of treatment options, up to and including prescription medication. To learn more about Psychiatry Associates of Baton Rouge, our doctors, or to request an appointment, click the button below.

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