The benefits of exercise are countless. More and more research is published every day on the importance of exercise in living a long and healthy life. Aside from the physical benefits, there are also many mental benefits. Exercise has been shown to increase mental clarity and focus, alleviate depression, and even help cure PTSD.
There have been many studies that have looked at the effects a regular exercise program has on PTSD symptoms. In one study of adults with PTSD, it was found that a 12-session aerobic exercise program led to a decrease in PTSD symptoms, depression, and anxiety after the program ended. In another study, it was found that those who participated in an aerobic exercise program for 40 minutes a day, three times a week, for 8 weeks, also experienced reduced PTSD symptoms, anxiety, and depression. Lastly, researchers have concluded that engaging in physical activity can improve problems with pain among veterans with PTSD.
The National Institutes of Health estimates 7.7 million Americans are affected by PTSD, including 11% of veterans of the war in Afghanistan and 20% of Iraq war veterans. For the Veterans Administration, this has dramatically increased the amount of PTSD cases they get. Between 2001 and 2007 the administration experienced a 60% increase in new cases. This shows how prevalent PTSD is in America, and we need to explore all treatment options.
If you or a loved one is affected by PTSD, exercise could play an important role in getting rid of PTSD. Contact a medical professional to see which route of treatment is best for you.