Time and time again we hear about the importance of regular exercise for our bodies. But not only does such exercise help our bodies — it does wonders for our minds as well. The latest finding comes from two researchers who found that simple exercise can be helpful with some people’s depressive mood:
[The researchers] based their finding on an analysis of dozens of population-based studies, clinical studies and meta-analytic reviews related to exercise and mental health, including the authors’ meta-analysis of exercise interventions for mental health and studies on reducing anxiety sensitivity with exercise.
The researchers’ review demonstrated the efficacy of exercise programs in reducing depression and anxiety.
And this is good news, since not everyone can afford psychotherapy or medications, and most people who have depression never seek out treatment for it anyways. If they do, it’s most often through their primary care physician, and they are most often just prescribed an antidepressant and then call it a day.
Exercise is easy and free. Take a walk around your neighborhood every day. Ride a bike. Jog around the park or around the town. Do a few dozen push-ups and/or sit-ups in your apartment. You can’t beat it for the convenience factor, the price, and the ease of actual doing factor.
Research shows it works — something about exercise seems to help us out of the depressive mood that infiltrates our brains:
Exercise appears to affect, like an antidepressant, particular neurotransmitter systems in the brain, and it helps patients with depression re-establish positive behaviors. For patients with anxiety disorders, exercise reduces their fears of fear and related bodily sensations such as a racing heart and rapid breathing.
Something to think about next time you forgo the walk outside, the playing ball with your friends or children, or don’t feel like getting off the couch. Our minds and bodies — they are the same and work together in conjunction with one another.
Read the full article: Exercise ‘Therapy’ For Depression
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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 7 Apr 2010
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.
Grohol, J. (2010). Good Ole Exercise for Depression. Psych Central. Retrieved on April 24, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2010/04/06/good-ole-exercise-for-depression/