Every human who breathes needs exercise, but people with Bipolar really NEED exercise. No amount of psych medication, supplementation, or proper nutrition will make up for lack of daily exercise. There are many people on psych meds who do not incorporate exercise into their daily lives who wonder why they’re not getting better despite the meds. While it’s obviously possible the meds just aren’t working, it’s also equally as obvious that you can’t expect to feel mentally better if your physical self feels badly.
When I miss a workout I feel existentially more irritable, depressed, sluggish, and exhausted. All of these symptoms are ironically bipolar symptoms. We can’t expect for our psych meds to do what daily exercise will do for our bodies. Those feel-good, mood-pick-me-up endorphins created from exercise are like gold to a bipolar mind! So get as much as possible (so long as you are in good standing health, and have an exercise routine cleared by your doctor).
Maybe pick something from this list…. swimming, kayaking, biking, Pilates, yoga, boxing, jiu jitsu, karate, beach volleyball, workout DVDs, aerobics, running, golfing, tennis, basketball, weight lifting, rock climbing, barre, hiking, lacrosse, frisbee golf, jump roping, rowing….. and there are so many more!
If you don’t have a form of exercise you love right now, just pick one you’ve never tried. Don’t expect to be an expert right away, be patient with yourself. The first time I ever tried Pilates I made a ton of mistakes, my form was terrible, and I left incredibly frustrated with myself. But two years later, Pilates was my favorite exercise I had ever done. So take a chance on yourself, try something new! Your body AND mind will thank you. 💚
I’m so bipolar, and unashamed.