As we get older, our activity levels often decrease and this may lead to poor mental health. Exercise is one method that can assist in providing both physical and mental changes. Severe depression may need to be treated with a combination of treatments such as medication, counselling, exercise etc.
There are quite a few exercise programs on the go that are using strength and weight training programs in order to treat mental health and these are having good results. Drugs have often been used in the past to treat mental health. However these don’t always work, are expensive, have side effects and may lead to dependency. Now there is more emphasis on exercise and nutrition. Many state that depression comes as you lose your strength and conditioning. Regaining body function encourages a positive outlook on life. Some say that we live in a community which treats declining mental health as an acceptable component of the aging process. In general depression is treatable but poorly recognised in the elderly by both the medical community and the elderly themselves. There has been specific research done in 1997 in Boston which had a 60% success rate with strength training for depression. This was compared to a group who took only drugs and also had a 60% success rate except with the side effects of the drugs. There was an equal success rate with drugs as there was with exercise. If you are interested in such a group there are small classes available at Grange Physiotherapy which are suitable for these type of conditions. We have very good results in these classes and they are worthwhile. Programs are designed around your specific needs and in a safe and supervised environment which caters for other medical needs. We recommend you get checked out by your GP prior to commencing an exercise program. We would also recommend a full assessment by a therapist prior to commenced a individualised program.