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A new study proposes exercise as a potential primary mode of treatment for mental health disorders ranging from anxiety, depression to schizophrenia, and acute psychotic episodes.

This small trial included ~100 patients in the medical center’s inpatient psychiatry unit and included a 60-minute structured exercise and nutrition education programs into their treatment plans. The psychotherapists surveyed patients on their mood, self-esteem, and self-image both before and after the exercise sessions to gauge the effects of exercise on psychiatric symptoms.

Approximately 95% of patients had improved mood after exercise.

There have been several other intervention studies showing that exercise improves mood in people with depression, improves psychosis in people with schizophrenia, and improves anxiety. The hope of this new study is that psychiatric facilities will incorporate exercise programs as a part of therapy.

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