Conclusive Evidence: Exercise Helps Reduce Depression and Anxiety

From the American Psychological Association
“It is concluded that findings provide clear evidence that participation in a program of strenuous aerobic exercise is effective for reducing depression.”

From the Journal of the American Medical Association
“An exercise training program may be considered an alternative to antidepressants for treatment of depression in older persons. Although antidepressants may facilitate a more rapid initial therapeutic response than exercise, after 16 weeks of treatment exercise was equally effective in reducing depression among patients with MDD.”

From the American Heart Journal
For patients with depression following heart surgery.
“After cardiac rehabilitation, depressed patients had marked improvements in depression scores and other behavioral parameters (anxiety, somatization, and hostility) and quality of life. Depressed patients also showed improved exercise capacity, percentage of body fat, and levels of triglycerides and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. Depressed patients exhibited statistically greater improvements in certain behavioral and quality-of-life parameters than did non-depressed patients.”

Okay. So what’s the plan? Well, how about a valid suggestion like this: The National Institutes of Health recommends 150 minutes of physical exercise each week for adults. The breakdown for youth, adults and seniors is given in this link:

From The British Journal of Sports Medicine:
“Exercise seems to be effective as an adjunctive treatment for anxiety disorders but it is less effective compared with antidepressant treatment. Both aerobic and non-aerobic exercise seems to reduce anxiety symptoms.”

And on the opposite end – no pun intended – sitting too much is not good for us.
From WebMD:
“Just since January [2014], researchers have reported that sitting for long hours is linked to:
• Worse mental health
• A higher risk of death from heart disease and other causes
• A higher risk of being disabled”

Getting motivated to be more active might take some doing, especially if you’re used to sitting most of the day. If that’s a problem, please read my blog post on GOALS.