What exercise is recommended to help prevent and treat depression?
The depression is a very common disease but which must be given the importance, because in most cases you need treatment, and support and other measures to overcome it.
Treatment should be multidisciplinary, both medical and pharmacological part as psychotherapy treatment, emotional support, social support, etc.
One of the tools that can help in both the prevention and treatment of some types of problems and depression is exercise, as explained below.
Why exercise helps prevent and treat depression?
It is clear that the exercise is a support, and a depression needs a multidisciplinary diagnosis and appropriate treatment and supervised. However, keep in mind that the exercise has proven effective in the prevention and treatment of depression for several reasons:
- Bad habits maintained, as excessive physical inactivity, obesity, smoking or even watch TV too much, are related in some way to increased risk of depression. Therefore changing habits to healthier ones can be helpful.
- Several studies point to the potential of physical exercise to improve certain aspects related to depression. We’re not talking about that “cure” depression, it helps to improve some specific aspects such as self – esteem, self – concept, mood … Therefore, integrating physical exercise in the prevention and treatment of depressive problems can be a good idea, because of its low cost and its associated benefits . We will see some of these studies to continuation.
What exercise to prevent or treat depression?
Although, as we have highlighted, exercise only seems to influence some aspects related to depression , is a treatment that has many beneficial components, such as social contact, emotional support group activities, in addition to the benefits themselves to physical and organizational level of the exercise itself (production of endorphins …).
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We have very extreme cases, who began exercising to try to overcome depression and ended up becoming ultra runner. And the release of substances that enhance the well-being is abundant in intense exercise, so it is recommended strenuous exercise or prolonged physical activity.
No need to run ultra marathons, you can get positive effects in group activities, such as group fitness classes, hiking with friends or family (which joined the benefits at the level of happiness to practice the activity in beautiful natural surroundings ) and other similar activities.
A brief review of the evidence:
- In this study in university students who performed aerobic and strength exercise, a slight improvement in some variables was found.
- In this one, made in older adults who practiced Pilates, also it found improvement in some aspects. And in this, a review of other studies, the recommendation also appears as physical exercise.
- Other studies also point in this direction, they indicate that practice exercise, either aerobic or anaerobic, two or three times a week, is more effective than no exercise in reducing some symptoms of depression, so it is recommended to include exercise in the treatment regimens of patients, as support to other treatments, such as drugs and psychotherapy.
- And in the case of the workplace, encourage sedentary to physical exercise as an integrated measure the company also had a positive effect on psychological factors such as self – esteem improves people; body perception; healthy feeling; and activation levels, why exercise is so recommended to all kinds of people, if not an obligation, but a means to get enjoyment and wellbeing.
We want to show our support for people suffering from depression of any kind, and their families, and encourage them to continue fighting to overcome the disease, knowing they can count on the help exercise and healthy habits to win this battle.