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Mental Health Professional Might Want to Recommend Exercise, Study Says

Previous studies suggest that exercise may help alleviate mental health symptoms. A recent study suggests that mental health professionals may want to include physical activity in their treatment plan for people with mental health issues.

Participants in the study included 295 people who were receiving mental health treatment at a mental health clinic. The researchers asked the participants whether they wanted to be more physically active and if exercising helped improve their mood and anxiety. In addition, they asked if the participants wanted their therapists to help them become more physically active.

Eight-five percent of the participants said that they wanted to exercise more, with over 80% saying that they believed exercise helped their moods and anxiety. Approximately half said they would appreciate a one-time conversation about fitness with their mental health provider, while others said they would like ongoing advice.

More than half of the participants said their mood limited their ability to exercise, indicating that additional support from physicians could be helpful.

Researchers from Michigan State University conducted the study. It was published in the November 2017 issue of General Hospital Psychiatry.

Regular exercise is one of the best things you can do for your health. Previous clinical studies suggest that even moderate exercise may help with blood sugar control, body weight reduction, improved heart health, improved respiratory health and reduced risk of dying prematurely.

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