Wednesday, 22 January 2020

Exercise to combat depression

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As people who follow Healthy Minds, Healthy Bods know, as well as those who read the blogs and look at our social media, we are mentor led. We have all had some experience of the debilitating effects of poor mental health.

But one of our focuses around supporting those around mental health is demonstrating how good nutrition, a healthy routine, and plenty of exercise can make a difference.

Well, a new study (and, let's be honest, there have been plenty on the subject) says that just half an hour of daily exercise helps to keep depression at bay. In fact, activities such as aerobics, dance, gym workouts and yoga protected against the blues.

A person's risk of suffering a new episode of depression fell by 17 per cent for every four hours of exercise they did each week. It means those classed as a "couch potato" could slash their risk by a sixth simply by being active for thirty minutes every day.

The team from Harvard University, led by Doctor Karmel Choi, analysed data on nearly 8000 patients, and published their work in the journal Depression and Anxiety. They said the findings applied to people who were at increased risk of suffering depression.
"Our findings strongly suggest that genes are not destiny and that being physically active has the potential to neutralise the added risk of future episodes in individuals who are genetically vulnerable."

Apparently, regular physical activity triggers the release of feel-good hormones and will take people's minds off their worries.  NHS guidelines suggest all adults should get at least one hundred and fifty minutes of exercise every week.

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