Exercise May Help Depression
Studies about the benefits of exercising just keep getting better and better! Now there’s evidence that it can actually help treat depression.
According to the study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association, depression is common in patients with cardiac disease, especially in patients with heart failure. So they decided to find out if exercise training would help treat the depressive symptoms, compared to those who just receive normal treatment.
To do this, they tested more than 2,000 patients with health failure for possible depression, and then randomly assigned them to a group. One group received the usual care for heart failure, while the other group received the usual care, plus aerobic exercise that included riding a stationary bike or using a treadmill.
The groups’ depressive symptoms were tested after three months and then again after 12 months. The exercise group actually saw a modest reduction in depressive symptoms compared to those that didn’t exercise. In addition, the study found that after a total of 30 months, the exercise group had a slightly lower risk of hospitalization and death.
However, keep in mind that even though this is good news, the authors still warned that the differences were “modest” and “the clinical significance of this improvement is unknown.”