Recent studies made on exercise and its connection to depression have shown that exercise offer less benefits for the depressed.
Although there have been a number of literature published on how exercise can ease symptoms of depression, there have never been any presentation of solid evidence that supports the theory that it can reduce it.
What causes depression and how can exercise help those affected by it?
Depression is influenced by different factors: Genes, biochemical environment, personal experiences and psychological factors.
What happens when we exercise is that endorphins are released into our brains which improves our mood and even makes us happy; sort of like how we respond to morphines when we experience a certain “high”.
Exercise also increases our body temperature which, according to some studies, “may” calm people. Through exercise, chemicals in the immune system which can worsen depression attacks are also reduced.
What is clear is that exercise influences the emotional and psychological aspects in the condition of a person suffering from depression; none had been said about genetics nor the environmental aspects of it.
So, to say that exercise offer lesser benefits to people with depression compared to regular people is, more or less, accurate. And this is how it’s always been.
Here’s an article on Yahoo! News:
If future research confirms the findings, doctors could consider depression treatments as an additional method of reducing heart disease risk, along with traditional recommendations such as exercise and healthy eating, Suarez said. Early intervention is important, because any episode of depression, if left untreated, can last months to years, the researchers said.
However, the study found only an association, and not a cause-effect link. It’s possible CRP levels may change in depressed people over time, but lag behind those who aren’t depressed.
The researchers noted that other markers of heart disease, such as levels of fat in the blood and levels of “good” cholesterol, did show improvements in participants who exercised, regardless of whether they were depressed. Additionally, depression in the study was assessed only with a questionnaire, rather than clinically diagnosed, Saurez said.
Depression has been a cause of heart ailments and other chronic diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure. What the article suggests is to maximize the benefits of exercise in cases of depression by using it to combat these illnesses, directing our focus on its physiological aspects more than anything else.
Other ways that exercise can benefit a person suffering from this illness is that it helps take the person’s mind off the cause of his worries and may provide him with a healthier way to cope with what he’s going through. It also helps improve his self confidence and makes him feel better about himself.
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