Regular exercise of any intensity can prevent future mental conditions such as depression - and as little as one hour can help! This is according to a landmark study conducted by the Black Dog Institute published in the American Journal of Psychiatry.
According to the study's results, even small amounts of exercise can help stave off mental conditions and provide mental health benefits regardless of your age or gender. Keep reading for the full findings.
Regular exercise can help prevent mental conditions like depression, study finds
To reach these findings, the international research team behind the study looked at 33,908 Norwegian adults. They monitored their levels of exercise and symptoms of depression
for 11 years.
The researchers found that 12% of cases of depression could’ve been prevented if the people in the study simply undertook just one hour of exercise each week. “We've known for some time that exercise has a role to play in treating symptoms of depression, but this is the first time we have been able to quantify the preventative potential of physical activity in terms of reducing future levels of depression,” said lead author Associate Professor Samuel Harvey from Black Dog Institute and UNSW.
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“These findings are exciting because they show that even relatively small amounts of exercise – from one hour per week – can deliver significant protection against depression. We’re still trying to determine exactly why exercise can have this protective effect, but we believe that it’s from the combined impact of the various physical and social benefits of physical activity,” added Associate Professor Harvey.
While the study found that regular exercise can help prevent depression, it didn’t identify the same benefit for anxiety
. It found no association between level and intensity of exercise and the chances of developing the disorder.
The mental health benefits of exercise are noticeable within the first hour untertaken...
The best part about exercising to boost your mental health
is that most of the benefits are realised within the first hour undertaken, according to Associate Professor Harvey.
“With sedentary lifestyles becoming the norm worldwide and rates of depression growing, these results are particularly pertinent as they highlight that even small lifestyle changes can reap significant mental health benefits,” he concluded.
Start exercising today to significantly reduce your risk of future mental conditions!
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