Gyms and Fitness Clubs

Is Exercise an Anti-Depressant?

For ages, we've known that exercise can help with weight loss and overall health, but a recently released study from the Anxiety Research and Treatment Program at Southern Methodist University shows that exercise might be its own form of anti-depressant as well. According to their article about the study, entitled, "Study: Exercise should be prescribed more often for depression, anxiety", exercise is a "magic drug" for many people suffering from depression and anxiety.

The findings of the study were presented at the Anxiety Disorder Association of America's conference in Baltimore earlier this week. The study looked at the stress and anger levels of people who exercised and found that after only twenty-five minutes of exercise, and is encouraging therapists to learn about exercise therapy to help their patients achieve better results in their fight against anxiety and depression.

According to the article, "Exercise appears to affect, like an antidepressant, particular neurotransmitter systems in the brain, and it helps patients with depression re-establish positive behaviors." They then go on to recommend people get up to 150 minutes a week of moderate activity or 75 minutes a week of vigorous activity, which is also the government-recommended amount of exercise as well.

The study also urges therapists and health care providers to use this to help people exercise by pointing out the short term benefits of a better mood and better outlook. This helps keeps the steps in improving one's mental well-being smaller and more attainable. This could go a long way to helping people with anxiety and depression who either don't want to attend therapy or can't afford it battle their symptoms. Read more about this study over on the Southern Methodist University website.