If you are looking for an all-natural way to improve your mood, strengthen your memory, and protect your brain from cognitive decline, this might just be doing some exercise. New research suggests that one hour of physical activity per week is enough to ward off depression.
If you are looking for an all-natural way to improve your mood, strengthen your memory, and protect your brain from cognitive decline, this might just be doing some exercise. New research suggests an hour of physical activity per week to keep away the depression.
A number of studies, including the one just published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, suggest that any type of exercise that increases heart rate and causes you to sweat for an extended period of time (aka aerobic exercise) has a significant and beneficial impact on the brain.
Most research has shown that beneficial aerobic exercise for the mind is what you do regularly for 30-45 minutes. However, the new study showed that regardless of the duration of training, it still offers mental health benefits. It is therefore good to move for 45 but also only for 5 minutes. However, the ideal would be to practice physical activity for at least an hour a week.
The one conducted by the Black Dog Institute's international research team is the largest long-term study that has set out to examine the link between exercise and mental health, with an emphasis on depression. The researchers studied nearly 34.000 adults for 11 years and analyzed how often they exercised each week, how intense their training was, and whether they perceived signs of depression or anxiety. The results showed that one hour of exercise each week is enough to protect people from depression. In fact, those who exercised were less likely to have depressive symptoms.
Specifically, those who never dedicate time to physical activity are 44% more likely to suffer from mental problems than those who train an hour or two a week. And this regardless of age and gender.
So commented Samuel Harvey, coordinator of the research team:
“We were already aware that exercise plays an important role in treating the symptoms of depression. But it is the first time that we have been able to quantify the preventive potential of sport. These results are exciting because they show that relatively small amounts of exercise, one hour per week, can offer significant protection against depression. "
Researchers have not yet been able to clarify all the mechanisms by which exercise seems to offer so many benefits to our brain and to the whole body in general. Undoubtedly, moving improves blood flow and therefore gives fresh energy and oxygen to the brain. But it is believed that the combined impact of the physical and social benefits of practicing sports must also be evaluated.
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Following the results obtained, experts suggest integrating exercise into individual mental health plans and public health campaigns. If it were possible to get the whole population to practice a little more physical activity, this could have significant benefits for everyone's physical and mental health.