When it comes to talking about your health and well-being, overlooking your mental health is a big mistake. Your mental health has a direct influence on your day to day mood, and anyone who has tried losing weight knows the huge impact that a positive mood and good attitude can have on your progress. During your medical weight loss program in Columbus, focusing on improving your mood and stabilizing your mental health can help you progress towards reaching your weight loss goal.
The link between depression, obesity and exercise has been explored for decades, but the evidence supporting exercise as an effective method in treating depression continues to gain ground. One of the latest published studies comes from a 2015 publication from Duke University, where researchers found that daily participation in exercise proved to be just as effective as the leading anti-depressant medication for individuals who were overweight or obese.
Using Exercise to Fight Depression
Although the idea that exercise elevates the mood dates back to the 19th century, studies suggest it has a greater impact than many first imagined. In another recent study, scientists at the University of Texas-Southwestern, along with The Cooper Institute in Dallas, tested the effect of aerobic exercise on depression. They found that adults who exercised for 30 to 40 minutes three to five times a week cut their symptoms of mild to moderate depression by an average of 47 percent, as compared to only a 29 percent reduction in a control group.
There is no one type of exercise that is shown to help depression better than others, however, researchers have found the following types of exercise effective in supporting ideal mental wellbeing:
- Running and walking, especially longer distances (1 mile and up)
- Regular participation in team sports
Several other well-conducted studies have shown that physical activity helps ease symptoms of depression, revealing effectiveness similar to prescription drugs and psychotherapy. The ability of exercise to improve mood has been found in both healthy and clinically depressed individuals, although it seems to have the biggest effect in those who are depressed. And the mood-boosting benefits of exercise have been found in ages ranging from young adults to those 65 and older.