Simple Exercise Can Help Reduce Depression

Empower & Inspire: Spread Health & Wellness

Recent studies have shown that doing simple exercises like gardening, walking, or playing golf can help lower depression rates. This was discovered by researchers at Anglia Ruskin University, who reviewed many studies from around the world.

Their findings, published in the Neuroscience and Biobehavioural Reviews journal, show that regular physical activity can decrease the chances of depression by 23% and anxiety by 26%.

Notably, lower intensity activities have a particularly strong effect in reducing depression risks, whereas higher intensity exercises may not have the same impact.

Exercise also appears to lessen the risk of severe mental illnesses, including decreasing the likelihood of conditions like psychosis or schizophrenia by 27%.

These benefits were observed in all groups studied—men and women of various ages, from different parts of the world.

Professor Lee Smith, a public health expert at Anglia Ruskin University, explains that tackling mental health issues is crucial. He points out that mental health care can include medication, therapy, and lifestyle adjustments. Moderate exercise helps improve mental health by triggering positive biochemical reactions in the body. On the other hand, very intense exercise might actually increase stress for some people.

Professor Smith stresses the importance of customizing exercise recommendations to fit each person’s unique response to different activity levels. The key takeaway here is that even mild to moderate exercise can significantly boost mental health, making it a practical option for those looking to make manageable changes to their lifestyle without the pressure of intense workouts.

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