Author: Michele Kirichanskaya
Researchers at the Sahlgrenska Academy recently concluded a study focusing on the connections between physical therapy and one’s mental state, theorizing that physical activity has a positive effect on clinical depression.
Researchers looked at the effects of exercise on the depressed as an “add-on” to taking anti-depressants. Divided into three groups, researchers had two groups participate in different types of exercise with a physiotherapist, twice a week for 10 weeks. The third group acted as the study’s control. It was found that a person centered approach to exercise, meaning personalized according to the patients’ own needs, lowered depressive symptoms and provided more mental clarity in comparison to the controlled group. Those who focus on increasing their physical fitness saw an improvement in their overall mental health.
There have been numerous studies showing exercise as a means to ease depression. Exercise can be linked to the release of positive brain chemicals, such endorphins, neurotransmitters that hinder or inhibit the transmission or pain signals as well as providing temporary feelings of euphoria (aka Endorphin Rush). Exercise can also boost the immune system, reducing chemicals that can increase risk of depression.
Take away: If you suffer from depression, speak to your physician about beginning an exercise program to compliment your medical treatment.