A recent study involving 34,000 adults shows that you don’t have to do much to dramatically curb the risk for depression. Researchers found that just one to two hours of exercise per week can cut the risk in half.
Participants who exercised on a weekly basis were healthy and in a good mood after eleven years of follow-up. Volunteers who failed to exercise were 44 percent more likely to suffer from depression.
Another piece of good news is that the workout was low to moderate intensity. Researchers found that none of the subjects had to sweat and get fatigued as long as they kept a constant weekly pace.
Study authors couldn’t tell why exercising helps against the depression, but they have some theories. They explained that after exercise, the brain releases endorphins, i.e. hormones that boost the general mood. As a result, participants tend to have a better self-esteem. These factors paired with constant peer support and social interaction may explain the positive health outcomes.
Peer Support is Critical
Experts recommend additional steps to stave off depression, which can be a debilitating disease. First, you should keep stress in check. Stress can easily lead to depression especially over prolonged periods of time.
Ensure you have enough peer support, be it family or friends. When you feel gloomy you can always call a loved one for an instant mood booster.
What’s more, don’t forget to exercise 150 minutes per week. You can dance, bike, walk, or o whatever activity that makes you move.
If you suspect you may be depressed you should seek medical help immediately. Depression is often paired with a sense of hopelessness and sadness, and in most severe cases with suicidal thoughts. Psychotherapy is the best option to go, but in severe cases, your psychiatrist may prescribe medication too.
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