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Is exercise bad for someone with bipolar disorder?

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Medicine
Getting regular exercise is important if you have bipolar disorder. This condition is associated with other illnesses, such as heart disease and diabetes. A daily dose of physical activity can help you limit the destructive effects of these diseases. Furthermore, studies show that people with bipolar disorder manage the disease better when they exercise frequently.
From what is known, exercise has positive effects for someone who is bipolar, particularly on the depressive side. The endorphins during exercise could have a calming effect on the manic side of a bipolar episode. Consistent elements of the depressive side are a negative mood and feelings of hopelessness. While we all feel depressed from time to time, clinical depression shows persistent symptoms for a relatively long time or symptoms that interfere with daily life. Exercise has been proven to reduce depression, even clinical depression. Exercise improves mood and is most effective when performed regularly. People who are mild to moderately depressed experience the greatest reduction of symptoms with exercise. Regular exercise has been found to be comparable in effectiveness to medication and therapy for mild to moderate depression and exercise is often used in conjunction with these treatments.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.