Exercise May Relieve Depression
Exercise may beat depression in severely obese people, according to a study of 850 adults about to undergo weight-loss surgery. Participants completed mental health questionnaires and wore activity monitors for a week to determine how much exercise they got. Those who exercised more were less likely to be receiving treatment for depression or anxiety. Even better news: A small amount of exercise makes a big difference. Participants who did at least eight minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per day (that’s about one hour a week) fared the best. But even taking just 4,750 steps per day lowered the likelihood of depression or anxiety treatment by 81 percent. To put that in perspective, national guidelines recommend people get 150 minutes of exercise per week and take 10,000 steps each day. But the researchers can’t say for sure whether exercise reduces depression or depression causes people to exercise less often.
Source: Journal of Psychosomatic Research, February 2013