Exercise Interventions for Mental Health

Michael J.C. Bray, MS, Sarah C. Collica, M.D., Matthew E. Peters, M.D., Kellie L. Tamashiro, PhD


  • Exercise is empirically supported as an adjuvant to treatment as usual and in some cases as first-line treatment for disorders of mental health.
    • The level of evidence supporting implementation of exercise interventions and special considerations when doing so are heterogeneous across disorders of mental health.
  • Exercise of various forms such as yoga, aerobic activity, and muscle strengthening has shown efficacy in a variety of disorders of mental health.
    • The approach may be tailored to the patient based on personal preference and the form of exercise most likely to be tolerated.
  • Exercise has shown efficacy in reducing symptom severity, increasing quality of life, increasing physical health, and reducing physical comorbidities of disorders of mental health.

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Last updated: February 21, 2020