HELLO FROM GMHQ!
HAVE YOU HEARD THE NEWS? Newly published research has investigated a topic which is poorly understood and previously neglected in a general population setting:
The link between EXERCISE and MENTAL HEALTH.
I don’t know about you, but for me exercise is a time I can focus on myself, my own well being and the endorphins certainly help improve my mood and keep me my usual chirpy self. When I am not exercising regularly however, I find I sometimes become really grouchy and grumpy! But is that just me? This new research looks at 1.2 MILLION people in the USA and hoped to assess how varying volumes/types of exercise effected the mental health of the group. In some studies, the type/quantity of exercise is prescribed, however this study is what is known as a ‘cross-sectional study’. This means the normal exercise patterns of the 1.2 million Americans involved were assessed.
So what did it find?
EXERCISE CAN IMPROVE MENTAL HEALTH…BUT IN MODERATION
This study suggested that those taking part in 3-5 sessions of 45 minute exercise per week had FEWER recorded poor mental health days per month. However it also suggested exercising more than 90 minutes at a time, or exercising every day may negatively impact one’s mental health.
2. THE BEST TYPE OF EXERCISE IS
The ‘best‘ type of exercise for reducing the number of ‘poor mental health’ days were team sports, however cycling, the gym and other exercise types also had very good effects. All types of exercise are reported as providing ‘a lower mental health burden‘ for the individual however which is great news for us all!
Possibly you may be thinking, right well we all kind of knew that exercise improved mental health anyway. However without studies like this legislation and treatment plans for mental health conditions can’t usually be changed. So this is a massive break through and hopefully will start to encourage health care professionals who don’t know much about exercise and lifestyle medicine to start discussing it’s benefits with their patients
This study however should not only be noted by those diagnosed with mental health problems, though this is important. The entire population should be aware of the findings and try to take care of their mental health. Around 1 in 3 people will find themselves suffering with a mental health problem at some point in their lives, so taking care of your mind and your body are equally important. If something as simple as exercise can reduce the burden of mental health ailments on our society, then lets get motivating each other to get involved!
Ultimately one of the main reasons I started up THE GYM MEDIC was to share my love and passion for exercise and the benefits it can provide for the whole population whatever your ability. This article just solidifies a message that I will continue to try and spread that exercise, if done appropriately, does not only improve the function of the heart, lungs and body, BUT it can make you feel GREAT!
Over and Out!
THE GYM MEDIC
I’ve included a link below to the article abstract, so take a look yourselves and let me know what you think! Happy Exercising and remember to catch me on..
Lancet Abstract Link: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanpsy/article/PIIS2215-0366(18)30227-X/fulltext
Nb. Exercising in some cases isn’t enough to improve mental health, and in these cases it is so important that you go and see your own doctor and talk about it. There are many options to help you and people available to talk. I’ve provided a NHS link below which may provide some useful information and helplines if you are currently struggling with your mental health. Sometimes you may feel alone, but remember the reality is that you rarely are. Please seek support and start the conversation. Big Hugs xx
NHS Mental Health Helpline Links UK – https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/mental-health-helplines/