Mental health

Regular exercise has positive impact

I have met peers who faced depression, anxiety and eating disorders, engulfed by challenges ranging from academic pressure to relationship obstacles and family issues.

It is very heartening to see the Government setting up a task force to help children with mental health (A variety of resources available to ensure children's mental health, March 4).

But because teenagers often keep their mental issues to themselves, I would like to share something they can do to fight their demons - exercise.

There are many clinical trials supporting the benefits of exercise in tackling mental illnesses.

One study showed that exercising lowered the need to use anti-depressants in major depressive disorder patients, while another showed how exercising may have a positive impact on a core brain region involved in depression.

Exercise could potentially treat mental illnesses rather than just prevent them.

Exercising three times a week has been shown to improve mental illness.

Just moderate or low intensity exercise can still be helpful in tackling the illnesses.

I encourage people to exercise when they are feeling down. Calm the mind, enjoy the thrill from exercising and enjoy the satisfaction of feeling healthier, younger and more refreshed.

Keng Xin Yi, 19

A-level graduate

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 15, 2021, with the headline 'Regular exercise has positive impact'. Subscribe