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        Research has shown that exercise increases blood-flow, oxygenates the brain and improves the psychological health of those who suffer from depression. Individuals with serious mental illness often experience other medical conditions, such as diabetes, obesity, and hypertension, among others. Exercise helps to improve and keep the individual mentally and physically fit. Although exercise has many benefits to people suffering from depression, it should not be used as a substitute for medical treatment. Instead, it can be part of a strategy to help individuals with mental illness recover, manage symptoms, and prevent relapse.

Health Benefits From Exercise:

  • Stress relief
  • Improved sleep
  • Reduced cholesterol
  • Better endurance
  • Weight reduction
  • Improvement in mood
  • Increased energy and stamina
  • Improved cardiovascular fitness
  • Reduced tiredness and increased mental alertness


Other Benefits of Exercise:

 Increased Confidence

  A symptom of depression is a feeling of worthlessness and hopelessness. Physical exercise can make an individual feel a sense of achievement and therefore increase the instance of positive feelings of self-worth. In addition, exercise can help one feel better about their appearance and increase their self-esteem. In turn, high self-esteem can lead to healthy and positive thinking.



  Dwelling on symptoms of mental illness can make them worse. It interferes with the ability to manage and cope with symptoms in a healthy way. In the case of depression, dwelling on problems can make the disorder last longer with more severe symptoms. Exercise can help distract an individual from dwelling on these symptoms. It allows thoughts to move away from the negative and to focus on other positive aspects of the environment.


Socialization and Interaction

  People who suffer from depression often withdraw socially and isolate themselves from others. This isolation causes the symptoms of depression to worsen. Exercise that takes the form of a group activity or occurs in a social setting can benefit an individuals’ mood. It creates opportunities for social contact and building relationships. These opportunities can help combat feelings of loneliness and isolation. 



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MEHEP website contains general information and should not be substituted for medical advise, diagnosis, treatment or referral services. MEHEP recommend that you seek knowledge, skill and judgment from a qualified psychiatrists, psychologists, physicians or health care provider about your medical condition. MEHEP is not responsible or liable for any diagnosis made by a user based on the content of the MEHEP website. MEHEP is not liable for the contents of any external internet sites listed, nor does it endorse any commercial product or service mentioned or advised on any of the sites.

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