Physical Exercise: Improving Mental Health

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PHYSICAL EXERCISE is synonymous with physical fitness and wellness but its prowess in contributing to improved mental health has garnered little recognition. Senior Registrar with the Kingston and St Andrew Community Mental Health Services and psychiatrist at the Edgewater Medical Centre in Bridgeport, St Catherine Dr Danielle Nelson explains that much benefit could be reaped by patients with mental conditions.
In examining this issue, we have to ponder does exercise improve mental health, or is exercise a sign of good mental health? Scientists do acknowledge that persons who take the decision to exercise may naturally practice a wide range of positive health behaviours that keep them in better mental health. They also may have a psychological disposition that may in itself protect their mental health, like being resilient. The different types of studies however show that the association of exercise with improvements in mental health is clear,” Dr Nelson explained.
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“People may not be aware of is the beneficial effects exercise can have on mental health. The positive effects of exercise on mental health can be categorized into prevention of mental illness, treatment of mental disorders, and improvement in general mental and physical wellbeing both for those with mental illnesses and those without,” Dr Nelson
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