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Doing plenty of exercise can help fight depression

People who exercise a lot and regularly can alleviate their depression. This has been confirmed by a recent study by the University of Queensland. It confirms what doctors around the world have long suspected.

Michael Noetel from the University of Queensland emphasises the effectiveness of exercise as a treatment for depression. After analysing 200 studies looking at the effects of exercise, psychotherapy and antidepressants in the treatment of depression, Noetel recommends that exercise should be routinely included in treatment plans for depression.

Strength training particularly helpful for young women, yoga helps older men

The positive effect extends across various activities such as walking, jogging, yoga and strength training. In particular, Noetel emphasises that strength training has been shown to be particularly effective for younger women, while older men can derive the most benefit from yoga. Noetel emphasises that although many people respond well to medication and psychotherapy, some are resistant to treatment. Nevertheless, most people could safely start with exercise, but should speak to a doctor first.

Depression is a leading cause of disability worldwide and has a significant impact on life satisfaction. In addition to improving physical and cognitive health, exercise also has positive effects on mental health. Different types of exercise work in different ways, be it through social interaction, increasing self-confidence or promoting mental clarity.

According to the study, a clear and structured programme of physical activity can improve the management of depression. Regardless of the frequency of exercise, other health problems or the severity of the depression, exercise is always helpful. However, it is important to find the most suitable form of exercise for the person concerned.

Physical activity improves your mood

In a similar study conducted at Harvard University, the effects of regular physical activity on the reduction of depressive symptoms were investigated. The results showed that people who regularly engaged in moderate to intense physical activity had a significant reduction in depressive symptoms compared to those who did little or no physical activity.

Another study, conducted at the University of Zurich, focussed on the relationship between exercise and cognitive function in people with depression. The results of this study suggest that physical activity can not only improve mood, but also has positive effects on cognitive function in depressed patients. This emphasises the multi-layered positive effects of exercise on various aspects of mental health.

This article is from the 2/2024 issue of the magazine "Life Abroad".

The magazine is published four times a year free of charge with many informative articles on foreign topics.

It is published by the BDAE, the expert for protection abroad.