Can Exercise Prevent Depression?

“Many studies show that people who exercise regularly benefit with a positive boost in mood and lower rates of depression. Doing regular physical activity is a good way to help prevent or manage mild depression. There are many views on how exercise helps people with depression, although the precise reasons are not clear. It is also not yet known which kind of exercise or how much is best or whether the benefits are lost if exercise is stopped.”

Exercise and fresh air have always been folk prescriptions for a glum mood. And most of us have, indeed, felt cheerier after a nice walk or a fun workout. But clinical depression is a different story—could regular exercise prevent a full on depressive episode from occurring? Researchers aimed to find out in a study published this week online in the American Journal of Psychiatry.

Here’s the theory of how exercise might help treat or prevent depression or anxiety: We’ve pretty much settled that a lot of clinical depression and anxiety are caused by chronic or severe acute stress, leading to a state of…

 

Read more: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/evolutionary-psychiatry/201710/can-exercise-prevent-depression

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