Exercise is not a universal remedy for serious mental illness. Sadly, one does not exist.
However it is possible to reduce anxiety, ease depression, and regulate sleeping patterns through a consistent, daily commitment to physical activity.
A recent study conducted by the Cooper Institute concluded that “relative increases in maximal cardio-respiratory fitness and habitual physical activity are associated with lower depressive symptoms and greater emotional well-being.” Furthermore, the study concluded that inactive men and women exhibited greater depressive symptom severity than those who were sufficiently active. (Source)
Many mental health rehabilitation programs now incorporate both physical and cognitive therapy to overcome mental illness. Half an hour of exercise increases endorphin levels in the blood. Endorphins are kind of like a natural form of morphine with no negative side effects, and produce an enhanced feeling of happiness and overall mental well-being. (Source)
Outdoor exercise has been observed to be particularly beneficial for people who suffer from depression and anxiety. Naturally scenic environments such as mountains or bodies of water provide the ideal locations for physical activity. Nature has an enlivening yet soothing effect on human senses, working to both calm nerves and clear the mind. (Source)
When practiced consistently and effectively, exercise propels us into a higher state of realisation and awareness of our health and wellbeing potential. Get out there and play to make the most of your day!