The study found that these simple activities can treat depression as effectively as medication

(CNN) — When a wave of depression hits, exercising may seem like the last thing you want to do. But a new study says it may be crucial to feeling better.

Many types of exercise, incl He walks trot, YogaTai chi, aerobic exercise and strength training have shown benefits as powerful as therapy when it comes to treating depression, according to the published study. This Wednesday in BMJ.

“Depression affects between 10% and 25% of people. “It is more harmful to well-being than debt, divorce or diabetes,” the study’s lead author, Dr. Michael Noitel, a senior lecturer in the school of psychology at the University of Queensland in Australia, said via email.

“However, only half of people with depression receive any treatment.”

The researchers analyzed data from 218 studies on exercise and depression, including more than 14,000 people.

Although there is a risk of bias in studies, the benefits of full-body exercise, coupled with data suggesting it helps treat depression, make a strong treatment option, Neutel said.

The findings are consistent with what many other studies have said about the benefits of exercise, said Dr. Adam Shukrod, an adjunct assistant professor of psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine and co-founder of Spring Health, a mental health care service. He did not participate in this study.

he Shikrod study from 2018 With over 1.2 million Americans showed that those who exercised reported better health and mental health.

Both studies should give people confidence that exercise is a good way to treat depression alongside other options, including therapy and medication, Shagrod said.

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“None of these treatments is a miracle solution. But given how debilitating depression can be, almost all patients should be offered exercise and therapy.

Any exercise is better than nothing

The study found that more exercise and higher training intensity were better, but you don't have to start training like a professional athlete, according to the data.

“It doesn't matter how much exercise people do, whether in terms of sessions or minutes per week,” Nuettel said. “It also doesn't matter how long the exercise program lasts.”

He said the intensity of the exercise made the biggest difference, but even walking had an effect.

Any exercise was better than none, but Neutel recommended adding some challenges.

“At first we thought that people with depression might need to ‘lighten up.’ We found that it was better to have a clear program aimed at motivating you, at least a little,” he said.

Motivation problem

Many people struggle to find the motivation to exercise, and adding depression to the mix can make it even more difficult to get started.

Setting goals and tracking activity didn't seem to help in the studies Nottle analyzed.

“Instead, I think we have to turn to a more grounded wisdom about what works,” he said, pointing to support and accountability.

You can find them by joining an exercise group, hiring a trainer, or asking a loved one to go for a walk with you, Neutel added.

“Taking some steps to get that support makes you more likely to keep going,” he said.
Whether you love weight training or walking, you need to make the activity fun to keep up.

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“Be kind to your future self by making the exercises as easy and engaging as possible, such as getting an audiobook or a yoga studio experience,” Neutel said.

The more you enjoy your workout, the more confident you will be in overcoming exercise obstacles, which means you're more likely to stick to a regimen, according to a 2015 study.

“So, be kind to yourself if it's hard; we always forget how easily life can get in the way of working out, so have a backup plan like your happiness depends on it… because it does,” Noitel said.

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