Can Exercise Improve Mental Health?

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Can Exercise Improve Mental Health? Angelo Marchese Sacred Heart University Abstract Mental illnesses affect millions of people worldwide, often striking without warning, and symptoms may manifest in a multitude of ways. There are many different forms of mental illness, which all respond differently to various treatment interventions. One of the most common methods of treatment is the administration of medications, although often effective these medications only mask symptoms, come with side effects, and can become costly. In recent years exercising has become more popular, and research trends have followed examining both the physical and mental benefits of exercise. Findings of these recent studies indicate, that exercise is…show more content…
In its simplest form exercise can be described as any form of physical activity that elevates heart rate. There are numerous forms of exercise that appeal to a variety of different individuals with differing abilities. This includes benefits to physical health such as lowering the risks of heart disease, obesity, and diabetes, but exercise also equally benefits mental health. The mental health benefits of exercise, often are greatest in those suffering mental illness, more specifically in aiding to improve symptoms of these illnesses. These benefits may make a huge difference in the mental health millions of people. Mental illness affects 57.7 million Americans or about 26 percent of the population, including 10 percent of children and adolescents (National Institute of Mental Health, 2015). Those effected by mental illness have symptoms varying in severity, which also differ in regards to response to treatment interventions (Castonguay & Oltmanns, 2013). The most common forms of treatment include medication and therapy, although more often than not the first method of treatment is medication, but this can become a problem because these medications just ease symptoms of mental illness, but do the treat the root of the problem (Castonguay & Oltmanns, 2013). Medications may also lose effectiveness over time, foster dependence or even addiction, can become costly, and sometimes are accompanied with negative side effects (Castonguay & Oltmanns, 2013). With
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