Even a small amount of exercise can fight depression, study finds


“Most of the benefits were realized when switching from no activity to at least some activity,” the study authors wrote.

U.S. recommended exercise levels, according to Centers for Disease Control and PreventionInclude 2.5 hours per week of moderate-level aerobic activity (such as brisk walking), as well as training all major muscle groups twice a week.

Alternatively, a person can choose to do 1.25 hours of vigorous aerobic activity per week, such as running, while doing the same amount of strength training.

Moderate to vigorous exercise is good for us, According to the CDC. Improves sleep; lowers blood pressure; prevents heart disease, diabetes and cancer; reduces stress; boosts mood; and fights anxiety and depression.

But in today’s busy world, many people find it difficult to adjust to jogging or going to the gym. Add to that depression, experts say, and the motivation to exercise is even more muted.

every bit counts

meta-analysis, Published Wednesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association PsychiatryFifteen studies involving more than 190,000 people were studied to determine how much exercise was needed to reduce depression.

According to the study, adults who did the equivalent of 1.25 hours of brisk walking per week had an 18 percent lower risk of depression than those who didn’t exercise.

Switching to “an activity equivalent to 2.5 hours of brisk walking per week was associated with a 25% lower risk of depression,” the study authors said.

The study found that the benefits are greatest when a person moves from a couch potato to an activity of the day. However, exercising above the recommended levels provided no additional benefit.

“Our findings therefore have important new implications for making lifestyle recommendations for health practitioners, especially for inactive individuals who may find current recommended goals (exercise) unrealistic,” the authors write.

Research in the past

A study published in 2018 found similar results: people who exercised had about 43% fewer days with poor mental health.

“Even walking just three times a week appears to be better for people’s mental health than not exercising at all,” said the study’s authors. Assistant Assistant Adam Chekroud teacher Yale University’s Ph.D. in psychiatry told CNN at the time.

A 2018 study found that 45 minutes of exercise 3 to 5 times a week was the most beneficial for improving mental health. However, the study found that even doing housework reduced the number of days with poor mental health by about 10%.

A study published in 2020 found that even light exercise can help protect children from depression. A 2020 study found that 60 minutes of simple exercise a day at age 12 was associated with an average 10% reduction in depression at age 18.

Types of exercise include running, cycling, and walking, as well as Do housework, paint or play a musical instrument.


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