Under the Hood

Exercise Significantly Reduces Depression, Study Says

Exercise can save your life by helping cool down thoughts of depression that might lead you to suicide.

Increased levels of physical activity can significantly reduce depression, even among people genetically predisposed to the condition, according to a study conducted at Massachusetts General Hospital. An 11-year-long study also confirms this point. It found people that engaged in regular leisure-time exercise for only one hour a week were less likely to become depressed. On the other hand, those that didn’t exercise were 44 percent more likely to become depressed compared to those who did so for at least one to two hours a week.

Why is exercise such a mood enhancer?

For the simple reason ,exercise can make you a happier, more positive person. This positive mood can trigger changes in your body that strengthen your immune system, decrease pain and chronic disease, and provide stress relief.

Avid exercisers are often overwhelmed by a euphoric feeling, which is often referred to as a "runner's high," after their workouts. This palpable post-workout boost in happiness and energy levels is what keeps many devoted exercisers eager to sweat again and again, according to Mercola.

A person's good mood can also rub-off on others. It's been shown exercise can increase your happiness and positivity and you can pass on these great moods to those around you.

Then we come to what kind of exercise will get you to experience this high more often. It's been found that strength training, also called resistance exercise training is an accessible and side effect-free form of exercise that can help reduce the rising rates of depression and improve quality of life.

In addition, strength training has also been shown to lead to a significant reduction in depressive symptoms. Overall, strength training improves mood, builds muscle mass and strength, and offers other benefits good for your heart and brain.

Studies suggest the greatest improvements were among people with symptoms of mild to moderate depression. This finding also suggests strength training might be most effective for people with greater depressive symptoms.

Strength training, however, isn't a magic cure for depression. What it does is diminish depressive symptoms just as well as antidepressants and behavioral therapies.

Exercise Women gathered for a morning aerobic exercise. Pixabay

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