PHYSICAL exercise is synonymous with physical fitness and wellness, but its prowess in contributing to improved mental health has garnered little attention. But 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 benefits could be reaped by patients with mental conditions.
“In examining this issue, we have to ponder, does exercise improve mental health, or is exercising a sign of good mental health? Scientists do acknowledge that persons who take the decision to exercise may naturally practise 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.