Exercise and bipolar


New Member
Does anyone have experience/etc. with regular exercise (daily running, walking, etc.) and it's effect on bipolar/mood swings? Also how to get a child/teen to participate in this kind of program?
From what is known about the positive benefits of exercise- it seems that it would be a good addition to a treatment plan.


Exercise has been proven to be beneficial to the brain chemistry. Daily exercise is very important to health. Therapeutic recreation is a definite need for our kids.

hearts and roses

Mind Reader
I know it's beneficial for mental health, but how can I get my slacker 15 y/o to actually be involved in anything remotely physically active? Besides work, where she is a waitress/busser, she doesn't ever move. She is content to sit around listening to music & talking on the phone. The occasional walk is just to have a smoke!


hearts and roses

Mind Reader
transformtriumph: She is a bean - she weighs about 110. Yes, she walks the dogs while having a smoke. Over the years she's tried gymnastics, soccer, softball, and various other school related sports, but she lost interest at the end of 7th grade, which incidentally is when her symptoms of ADHD and mood swings began.

I've offered swim classes and tennis but she is not interested. That's why I'm at least glad she is moving at her job. And since she started the risperdal, all she wants is pasta.

This summer she will be busy, so hopefully that will tire her out and she will sleep better, thus improving her moods a bit. She is taking summer school classes this year so hopefully she will view her jobs as a respite.


Well-Known Member
I have bipolar and work out 1-2 hours a day, 7 days a week. Although I feel great and am in good shape, it has not stopped the moodswings (bad ones) i get when not on medications. I think it's very helpful, but not the answer, especially if the bipolar is so bad that it renders a person non-functional or dangerous.


Crazy Cat Lady
Part of my treatment plan we will start work on Tomorrow with my therapist includes a recommendation from my psychiatrist that instead of non-scheduled bouts of activity when I'm 'up' I start a scheduled plan of walking so many minutes per day (30) in my case in addition to walking my dog-e.g. walking for me without hte distraction of the dog. He believes very strongly that regular large muscle exercise is an important part of tx for bipolar though not a substitute for medications. He also hopes that with my arhtritis this will stop the bouts of overexercising and inflaming my joints.

It seems to me that since bipolar is sort of a lifestyle disease that one has to manage the entire lifestyle--throwing medications at it is to enable one to do the things one must do in order to otherwise be healthy.