Mental health problems affect one in five people every year. The Canadian Mental Health Association estimates that by the age of 40, about half of people will either have had a mental illness or will currently be dealing with one.
Behavioral therapy and medications are common first options for treatment. However, research has shown the importance of exercise in not only preventing mental illness, but also treating it. And when exercise is taken outdoors, the benefits can be even greater.
Mental illnesses include depression, addictions and anxiety, as well as personality disorders. Of these, anxiety and depression are the most common, with depression being the leading cause of disability worldwide. Left untreated, these diseases can result in physical illness and premature death.
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