It is the sad reality that each year, 1 in 5 Australians will experience a mental illness. Mental illness can have an impact on a person’s cognitive, behavioural and social functioning. Those with a mental illness often struggle to engage in their regular work, social and physical activities to full extent which further impacts the illness as social isolation then often occurs.
Mental illness includes anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, bipolar affective disorder and personality disorders.
There is mounting evidence that suggests exercise is an effective treatment method for people suffering from acute and chronic mental illness, with some studies suggesting that exercise is just as effective, if not more effective than pharmacological intervention in alleviating depressive symptoms.
Exercise can make a big difference in mood and needs to be a fundamental part of mental healthtreatment. Even one workout a week is known to have great benefits. Exercise can also counteract the side effects of some medications such as reducing the risk of falling by strengthening muscles and helping control body weight and blood pressure.