As much as we might dread starting an exercise session, there is something exhilarating once we get into the exercise. It’s not uncommon to hear “exercise helps me clear my mind” or “exercise relaxes me” and so on. It should be little surprise, then, that exercise may reduce depression.
This recent study may give medical providers a new script to entertain… a prescription for exercise.
Mental health practitioners probably will mention exercise, along with other healthy behaviors such as sleep, to their patients, even as they prescribe talk therapy or medication as the main treatments. But it’s not clear how many psychologists or psychiatrists actually prescribe exercise as a treatment.
Some practitioners do advocate exercise.
Antonia Baum, a psychiatrist in private practice in Bethesda, says, “I always take an exercise history with my patients.” As for starting and sticking with an exercise program, she’ll talk through the basics and help people find an activity that they’ll enjoy.
“You need to find a way that’s sustainable,” she says.
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