Exercise: A Prescription for Mental Health

May 24, 2024

As we mark Mental Health Awareness this month, the power of exercise is well-researched and undeniable, and repeated studies point to physical activity to be as effective for the prevention and treatment of many mental health conditions – from anxiety to stress, substance abuse and depression.

We live in a world where the prevalence of mental health disorders is all around us – it is estimated that one in five Canadians currently are experiencing a mental health issue, and that half of Canadians will by the time they hit 40; the pandemic took a toll on the health of Canadians, and in the last decade Statistics Canada has reported a significant decline in people reporting good mental health.

But the last decade has also shown us great strides in understanding the impact of exercise on our mental well-being. A comprehensive review published in the British Medical Journal synthesized findings from 218 unique studies, reaffirming what the fitness industry knows, and works hard daily to achieve: A positive impact in the mental health of their clients Physical activity is a potent tool in the fight against mental health.