Schizophrenia and Exercise Therapy – How it benefits the patients

Schizophrenia and Exercise Therapy – How it benefits the patients

Schizophrenia is a chronic mental disorder wherein the patient loses touch with reality and behaves abnormally. This disease, which is incurable as of yet, normally affects about 1% of the population. The implications of Schizophrenia, like most mental disorders, reach beyond the patient; it generally affects the family, friends, and the society on the whole. The symptoms of Schizophrenia mostly appear between the ages of 16 and 30.

  1. Positive symptoms – Positive symptoms actually mean that the patient is experiencing things which are not even present in their environment. These symptoms generally react positively to the medication.
  1. Delusions – The patients feel strange and fearful delusions.
  2. Hallucinations – The most commonly reported hallucination would be of hearing strange voices which don’t actually exist in reality.
  1. Negative symptoms – These symptoms refer to the generic characteristics which are absent in Schizophrenic patients. These are stubborn symptoms which barely react even to the medication.
  1. Lack of expressions – These patients tend to remain aloof. They hardly react to the changes in even their family members’ lives.
  2. Lack of motivation – These patients generally ignore the daily chores which keep life moving.
  1. Cognitive symptoms – The patients struggle to communicate properly. The symptoms also include poor concentration, weak memory, and a lack of organizational skills.
  2. Emotional symptoms – Emotions are generally blunted in a patient suffering from Schizophrenia. They appear to be self-centered to even their near and dear ones.

Exercise therapy for schizophrenia
The following types of exercises are generally recommended for schizophrenia patients –

  1. Aerobic exercises – According to researchers aerobic exercises improve the cognitive functioning of the schizophrenia patients. These exercises were found to improve the following functions-
  1. Comprehending social situations
  2. Increased attention span
  3. Improvement in short-term memory associated with reasoning, decision making, and social behavior.
  1. Resistance exercises – Resistance training using both free weights and weight machines help in the battle with symptoms of schizophrenia.
  2. Yoga – Yoga is perhaps the best form of exercise therapy for schizophrenia. Yoga, with its philosophy of the unification of body and mind; is a combination of meditation and physical exercises. Yoga is widely recommended for schizophrenic patients in rehabilitation centers.

Unfortunately, till now there is no perfect medication or therapy which is known to completely cure schizophrenia. Medications and exercise therapy for schizophrenia can still help in mitigating some of its symptoms and let the patients live in a relatively better condition. Contacting professionals to take care of the schizophrenic patients is generally a wise decision for the family members.