We do lot a physical exercise for keeping body in shape and strong. I have not heard about any exercise for mental health. Is there any thing like mental exercise or physical exercise also include mental exercise ?

  • $\begingroup$ I assume a lot of people would claim various types of meditation fall in that category. You could also argue that 'education' in general does. Have you tried searching for anything? Currently, I feel this question is extremely broad. Would a "Yes" answer your question? Anything more specific you are interested in? $\endgroup$
    – Steven Jeuris
    Commented Sep 4, 2019 at 13:40
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    $\begingroup$ Exercise has been proven very effective for depression and other psychiatric disorders. "Mental exercise" is too broad a concept. You could argue that cognitive therapy is a form of mental exercise or every all the various forms of psychotherapy - you would have to edit your question to clarify what you mean. Another question does touch on this topic - psychology.stackexchange.com/questions/4986/… $\endgroup$
    – Poidah
    Commented Sep 4, 2019 at 13:57
  • $\begingroup$ @steven for eg some type of obesity can be reduced by doing physical exercise. Like is there any exercise by which we can reduce or prevent depression. $\endgroup$
    – Arun Killu
    Commented Sep 4, 2019 at 18:33

1 Answer 1


There is enough evidence to tackle the issue of exercise and depression. I am not sure about the rest of the psychiatric spectrum and disorders. A 2013 review by Cooney et al found differences in the methodological rigor of the trials.

For the 35 trials (1356 participants) comparing exercise with no treatment or a control intervention, the pooled SMD for the primary outcome of depression at the end of treatment was ‐0.62 (95% confidence interval (CI) ‐0.81 to ‐0.42), indicating a moderate clinical effect.

However, when they examined a smaller more methodologically rigorous group, the effect size lessened but was still significant.

6 trials (464 participants) with adequate allocation concealment, intention‐to‐treat analysis and blinded outcome assessment, the pooled SMD for this outcome was not statistically significant (‐0.18, 95% CI ‐0.47 to 0.11). Pooled data from the eight trials (377 participants) providing long‐term follow‐up data on mood found a small effect in favour of exercise (SMD ‐0.33, 95% CI ‐0.63 to ‐0.03).

So yes, definitely exercise is very helpful for depression with meaningful improvements.


Cooney GM, Dwan K, Greig CA, Lawlor DA, Rimer J, Waugh FR, McMurdo M, Mead GE. Exercise for depression. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2013, Issue 9. Art. No.: CD004366. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD004366.pub6.

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    $\begingroup$ This only addresses (partially) the second part of the question: "Is there any thing like mental exercise or physical exercise also include mental exercise ?" Regardless, it is relevant as it shows that physical exercise is at least helpful in terms of mental health when diagnosed with depression. $\endgroup$
    – Steven Jeuris
    Commented Sep 5, 2019 at 8:19

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