Clearing Your Head
Exercise can provide a distraction from worries and give you a chance to focus on yourself. Getting a clear head can be valuable in recovery and can help give you a new perspective on life around you.
Taking Control of Your Own Recovery
Starting exercise can help you increase a sense of control over your recovery, as this is something you can do yourself, and continue to work through. Many people feel out of control during a bipolar episode and feel as though medical professionals are the only ones who are controlling them, or who are able to control them. An exercise regime is something you can manage yourself.
Please note that manic episodes require careful handling with regards to exercise, as there is the potential for symptoms to worsen as more brain chemicals — such as endorphins — are released, thus elevating mood.
While it is a good opportunity to burn off the extra energy you may have, there is a risk of becoming obsessed, over indulging or triggering other dangerous behaviors.
Manic episodes often entail a lack of sleep, and it may be that regular exercise helps you to re-establish a solid sleep pattern and avoid a full-blown relapse. However, there is a chance that exercise will wake up your body, and thus sleep may evade you even further.
If you are experiencing manic symptoms, please consult your physician before beginning a regular exercise routine in order to avoid any potential risks.
According to studies, bipolar disorder can be associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity and diabetes, and exercise is one way of combating this risk. Staying healthy is important for everyone, and it is even more important if you are at risk of certain medical conditions.
Exercise can also help to challenge the weight gain that may occur with certain types of medication. Weight gain can cause low self-esteem, and may trigger or worsen a depressive episode, so exercising and maintaining your weight is a valuable tool in staying healthy.
Remember that building a routine would take anyone some time, and you cannot expect miracles overnight. Do not be too hard on yourself, and don’t let a slow start have an impact on your self-esteem.
Consider keeping an exercise diary so you are able to go back through and remind yourself of times you achieved positive results, so you are aware that you can achieve this again. Keeping an overall mood tracker could also provide you with positive results, and exercise times could be part of what is noted within your diary.
It is vitally important that you consult a doctor before starting any kind of exercise regime, as there may be factors associated with your medication or your overall health that will have an impact on your choices. Do not let that deter you from considering an exercise regime, as chances are you will have positive results — especially if you have a greater tendency of depressive episodes.