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 ?
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.