What is the Link Between Exercise and Bipolar Disorder?

What is the Link Between Exercise and Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder also known as manic depression is defined by frequent mood swings between great energy and clinical depression. Generally, people face mild mood swings, but for people with bipolar disorder, their mood swings can be very extreme as well as unpredictable.

Bipolar disorder is usually controlled by medication and therapies. However, some recent studies clearly show that making exercise a part of your treatment plan can bring you a lot of benefits. Read on to know how exercise can help one with bipolar disorder.

Link Between Extreme Mood Swings of Bipolar Disorder and Exercise

symptoms of bipolar disorderFor many of the people exercise leave a positive effect on their mood. When a person exercises, its body releases peptide hormones called endorphins. Endorphins are the chemicals which brings a good feeling to your brain. With time, the higher amount of this hormone will make you feel better. Moreover, exercise can also help your body to fight stress. That is the only reason why exercise is often recommended for people who are undergoing the depression phase.

RELATED: Is Depression Life Threatening?

By knowing these benefits, it is easy to conclude that doing exercise might help one with bipolar disorder. However, the reviews of some studies in 2015 show that this cannot be always true. Like one of the studies from the review found out, doing exercise helps one to ease their hypomanic symptoms. Hypomanic symptoms are not so extreme as manic symptoms.

Working out also helps one to have a better sleep. Furthermore, according to this study, certain types of exercises like running, walking and swimming brings a lot of calming effects in some people. However, it also points out that exercise can further intensify the manic symptoms of bipolar disorder. People going through manic and hypomanic symptoms can face a worsening spiraling effect due to work out.

There are many studies which reached the same result at there end. Like in a study of 2013 researchers planned out a program which consisted of exercise, a healthy diet, and fitness training for the obese people who are going through bipolar disorder. They observed the improvements in health and weight sector of the people. It also reduced the symptoms of depression plus made an overall improvement in the functioning of the body. By their results, however, they also reached the fact that exercise can also worsen the manic symptoms.

Link Between Health Risks of Bipolar Disorder and Exercise

depressionBipolar disorder does not only affect your mood but also makes your body fight against many other health issues. According to a study of 2015, people having bipolar disorder are at higher risk of developing these health issues, these health issues include:

• Heart disease
• Obesity
• Type 2 diabetes
• Stroke

According to the same study, these health conditions will not only affect your overall health but may also increase the bipolar disorder symptoms.

People having bipolar disorder are at higher risk of these health issues because of their sedentary behavior. Sedentary behavior is known as the non-physical activity and is associated with bipolar disorder. A recent study of 2017 shows that people going through some mental illness were showing more sedentary behavior than the people without any mental illness.

Mostly the people with mental illness were those who were going through bipolar disorder.
The opposite of sedentary behavior called exercise can make you stay healthy by reducing your risk of getting other health problems due to bipolar disorder. Doing a regular workout can help you to control and keep a check on your weight as well as it may also be helpful in reducing the risk of getting type 2 diabetes, stroke and heart diseases.

Link Between Weight Gain from Bipolar Medications and Exercise

bipolar disorder realityAs mentioned above one of the serious issue people face in their bipolar disorder is obesity. In some of the cases, being overweight is due to the use of bipolar medications. These medications can slow down your metabolic processes, preventing your body to consume the calories efficiently. On the other hand, some people face weight gain due to their increased appetite. Here is a rundown of the medications which can possibly increase your weight.

• Antidepressant-antipsychotic combinations
• Antidepressants
• Mood stabilizers
• Antipsychotics

Consult your doctor immediately if you notice that taking any of these medications is increasing your weight. If one is not able to control their weight gain, his doctor might prescribe him different medications. Never change your dosage or stop taking the medication yourself without consulting a doctor.

RELATED: Bipolar Disorder- Symptoms, Treatment and Prevention

While contrary to these points, a frequent workout can help one to reduce their weight. Exercises help you to lose weight by burning your calories and building muscles.

How to Stay Motivated?

Sticking to anything for a longer period of time might be a difficult task for many of the people. Similarly, doing exercises on regular basis may be a tough task, especially for the people with bipolar disorder. When a person goes through a manic episode, then it is hard for him to follow his schedule of planning out daily and doing weekly exercises.

Depression makes you feel physically sluggish and frequently hits you with negative thoughts, at this time it may be difficult for you to stay motivated and exercise. The DBSA has suggested a few points so you can stick to your workout program, these points are:

• Start doing an exercise which you enjoy the most and do not stress out yourself. If you are not interested in running then go for swimming or dancing. There are high chances that you will stick to the exercise which you find enjoyable.

• Start doing exercises slowly and try to reach a healthy frequency. If you will stress and push yourself too hard at the beginning then you might feel discouraged and quit doing working out. It will be best if you make your exercise goal of 30 minutes for three days a week.

• It is preferable that you consult your doctor before starting as he will direct you in the best possible way. He may recommend to you the type of exercise and the duration. Exercise can interfere with your prescribed medications so make sure you drink plenty of water.

• Try to find out a person who will company you in your exercise. This companionship will make easy for you to stay motivated and reach your goal. This will also lead to good social interaction. Just make sure that your exercise buddy calms you and do not bring you stress.

Leave a Reply
Your email address will not be published. *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.