Recent research suggests that regular physical exercise can increase the level of serotonin in the brain, a neurotransmitter involved in regulating mood, sleep, appetite, libido, and other functions also can suggest it as treatment for depression people.
Regular exercise can also enrich the level of endorphins in the human brain. It also elevates mood. In depression, we have found a relationship with alterations in serotonin transmission pathways.
However, studies show that less than 50% of mental health professionals recommend physical exercise to patients with depression in treatment. Less than a third of them are certain about the effectiveness of the indication.
What Data Of Interest Does This Text Cover?
The data of interest covers that regular exercise can relieve symptoms of depression, the role of physical exercise in the treatment of depression, evidence of the benefits of exercise in the management of depression, other benefits of exercise, and exercise recommendations.
By What Pathways Does Regular Exercise Relieve Symptoms Of Depression?
Regular exercises relieve symptoms of depression such as:
- Increasing energy level
- Improving the quality and quantity of sleep
- Distracting the mind from worries and rumination of negative ideas
- Providing social support and reducing loneliness if you do exercise with other people
- Increasing self-esteem and sense of self-control by allowing the person to take an active role in controlling their Welfare
- Modulating the substrates involved in brain neuroplasticity
- Optimizing the level of Brain-Derived-Neurotrophic-Factor (BDNF) in the brain
- Optimizing neurogenesis (generation of new neurons, as shown in studies in rats)
- Improving the functioning of the antioxidant enzyme system in the brain and mitigating oxidative damage
Essential Points About Exercise In Treating Depression
- Regular exercise can be an effective treatment on its own in non-melancholic depressions (mild or moderate intensity).
- Exercise does not require to be extremely vigorous to help depression. A brisk walk for at least thirty minutes, preferably in the morning, gives us health benefits.
- For severe depression with melancholy, exercise can be a very useful strategy with pharmacological treatments and psychological therapies.
- For people suffering from ‘melancholic depression’ and lack of energy in the morning, performing the exercise is an immediate indication after getting out of bed between 7 and 9 am.
There Is Evidence For The ‘Exercise’s Benefits’ In Controlling Depression
Regular exercise can effectively alleviate some symptoms of depression and is often overlooked by treating physicians and neglected or ignored by patients.
Several studies have shown that people who observe physical exercise regularly will experience fewer symptoms of depression and anxiety. On the contrary, those who do not exercise regularly will not have such experience. Studies have also shown that regular exercise is a treatment by itself or an adjunct for mild, moderate, and intense depression.
Indeed, 16 weeks of regular exercise with at least 160 minutes per week of vigorous cardiovascular exercise is as effective as the use of antidepressant medication in patients with major depression or bipolar. A recent study found that going from inactivity to exercising three times a week resulted in a 20% decreased risk of depression over five years.
Both aerobic exercise (such as brisk walking, bicycling, or jogging), as well as resistance training (long-distance running) or muscle-strengthening (lifting weights), help treat depression.
Other Benefits Of Exercise
Along with helping manage depression, regular exercise has numerous physical health benefits. These benefits include the prevention of numerous somatic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, myocardial infarction, hypertension, osteoporosis, and certain types of cancer.
For extra health and fitness benefits, experts recommend that adults have to participate in more vigorous physical activity, such as jogging, playing squash, or an intense gym routine. For best antidepressant effect, vigorous exercise should be 50 minutes three or four times a week.
Finally, health and mood benefits come from becoming more active (for example, walking for half an hour four times a week). We should always remember that there has to be some activity instead of doing nothing, and more is better than less.