The Life's Learning Centre Blog

Mind Gym: Exercise to Overcome Depression

Posted on: August 28, 2009

A recent study has been released from the Advanced Cognitive Training for Independent and Vital Elderly (ACTIVE). Not surprisingly, participants who were engaged in some sort of brain training or cognitive exercise were 38% less likely to develop depression (according to the assessment of self-reports). This makes sense as affirmations and Mind Gym exercises have proven results and should be a major part of anyone’s overall fitness program.

Another report conducted in the US by The Surgeon General  found that “physical activity appears to relieve symptoms of depression and anxiety and improve mood” and that “regular physical activity may reduce the risk of developing depression.” Need more support?

Duke University researchers studied people suffering from depression for four months and found that 60 percent of the participants who exercised for 30 minutes three times a week overcame their depression without using antidepressant medication. This is the same percentage rate as for those who only used medication in their treatment for depression. Hmm, pills or push-ups?

You don’t have to be suffering from a clinical or diagnosed psychological disorder to get substantial mental health benefits from proper exercise and fitness. One study found that short, eight-minute workouts could help lower sadness, tension and anger along with improving resistance to disease in healthy people. Many people exercise to boost confidence as well as reduce anxiety and stress, all of which contribute to psychological health and well-being.

In gyms and health clubs across the country, where many professionals train everyday people who want to improve the quality of their lives, the trend is moving away from classes focusing simply on muscle and cardiovascular training to ones that include overall wellness and whole-body maintenance. Over the past few years, more and more people have discovered the benefits of workouts that stimulate the emotions as well as the muscles.

For Americans who participate in physical activities, at least occasionally, here are the top five reasons they give for non-physique-related reasons to exercise:
• Fun/enjoyment (49 percent)
• To prevent health problems (36 percent)
• To reduce stress/tension (31 percent)
• To relax (30 percent)
• To help with current medical problems (27 percent)

Article Source: ACE

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