So, what is the link between fitness and depression?
From the first day you stepped into an elementary school PE class, it was drilled into your head (not a dodgeball): Exercise is good for you.
If you are active, your physical health will benefit (here are some other benefits from exercise that aren’t weight loss). But according to a new study, the benefits go way beyond your lungs, biceps, and quads, all the way to your brain.
Train your brain for happiness
One hour of exercise each week can prove to fight off depression, according to the Telegraph. New research published in The American Journal of Psychiatry took a look at the link between exercise and depression using a study group of over 33,000 adults.
Participants in the study who reported not exercising at all were reportedly 44 per cent more likely to suffer from depression than participants who exercise one to two hours per week. Additionally, the study found that in 12 per cent of the reported cases of depression, a small amount of exercise could have been used to prevent it entirely.
“These findings are exciting because they show that even relatively small amounts of exercise, from one hour per week, can deliver significant protection against depression,” says Professor Samuel Harvey, the study’s lead author, to the Telegraph “These results highlight the great potential to integrate exercise into individual mental health plans and broader public health campaigns.”
Over the span of 11 years, the study kept track of exercise activity and symptoms of depression and anxiety in 33,908 Norwegian adults, also taking into account variables such as socio-economic background, instances substance use, body mass index, perceived social support, and new onset physical illness.
Considering the numbers and the sample size, it’s pretty fair to call them airtight enough to warrant a daily walk.
Need some motivation to get moving? Here are some motivating tricks to adopt some easy exercise routines in your life.
Originally published as If You Work Out This Much Each Week, Your Depression Risk Drops on ReadersDigest.com.