People exercise for many reasons, and one of the major ones is for its mood-boosting benefits. But as someone who lives with co-occurring mental illnesses, I was skeptical as to whether these benefits would actually work for me. However, as I read more and more research about the therapeutic benefits of working out, I decided to give exercising on the regular a shot. Developing an exercise routine as a way to cope with my PTSD and eating disorder became a pivotal moment in my healing process — and dramatically changed my relationship with my body for the better.
There’s a wide body of research that speaks to the positive impact exercise has on your mental health. Walking alone has been shown to release endorphins, lessen fatigue and symptoms of depression, improves your overall brain health, and even increases the production of BDNF — a protein that strengthens memory, as well as your ability to learn. These brain-boosting benefits go way beyond cardio and aerobic exercise: As Tonic reported this past December, studies have consistently found strength and resistance training (aka, lifting weights) may be even more effective when it comes to dealing with depression and other mental health issues.
Specifically, research has shown that exercise is an effective adjunct treatment that can reduce the severity of symptoms associated with PTSD. So much so, clinicians have developed practices such as trauma-informed yoga. What's more, a 2016 review published in the journal of Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise found that working out — in a therapeutic and balanced way — actually improves eating disorder treatment outcomes for a majority of people.
[For more on this story by KYLI RODRIGUEZ-CAYRO, go to https://www.bustle.com/p/how-e...sd-recovery-15832428]