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No Sports? Not at all?

Can sports help you treat depression?

For years, it is known that even one workout can lift your spirits. Several times, physical activity has been shown to be linked to improved physical health, cognitive functioning, life satisfaction, as well as psychological well-being. Furthermore, there is evidence that exercise is an effective and cost-effective treatment alternative for many anxiety disorders. Also, food can have a significant impact on our mood as shown in this blog post.

Researchers from Duke University Medical Center split people with major depression and over 50 years old into 2 groups: One group took antidepressant drugs and the other group had to participate in an aerobic exercise program for 4 months. 4 months later, both groups had almost the same level of depression –  quite none. Exercising may be considered as an alternative to antidepressants for the treatment of depression in older persons. The main difference is: Antidepressant drugs may be faster in having an initial therapeutic response than exercise. Generally, the efficacy of exercising seems comparable to receiving antidepressant medication. Both tend to be better than a placebo.

No sports? No quite the opposite!
No sports? No quite the opposite!

Is it really the workout or do we just have to get into social interaction?

Many critics may say that it just cut down on depression because the participants were forced to exercise in a group of people. The effect exercising has on people suffering from the major depressive disorder may be linked to the fact that patients were forced to participate in social interaction. But, further studies have shown that even working out alone at home, has the same effect as going to the gym, etc. Exercise can have a moderate antidepressant effect, and at best, a significantly large effect on reductions in depression symptoms. Thus, sports could be classified as a very cost-effective, powerful and useful intervention. Sadly, antidepressant drugs are prescribed much more often than physical activity.

You really do not have to finish a half marathon to get the positive effects of physical activity: Going to work by bike or even having a walk outside which is a bit faster than you’re used to is fine as well! Better than doing nothing 🙂

What about you? Do you love having a good workout or do you prefer staying at home? What is your favorite activity?
Do you like this blogpost? Feel free to share it and stay tuned on my Facebook-Fanpage as well. 🙂

No sports? Not at all? Sport and exercise are not only very important for our bodies and the maintenance of our muscles - our psyche also reacts to physical exercise. I'll tell you more about this in my blog post!

Here you can find all sources used for this blog post

Blumenthal, J. A./Babyak, M. A./Doraiswamy, P. M./Watkins, L./Hoffman, B. M./Barbour, K. A./Herman, S./Craighead, W. E./Brosse, A. L./Waugh, R./Hinderliter, A./Sherwood, A. 2007: Exercise and pharmacotherapy in the treatment of major depressive disorder, in: Psychosomatic Medicine, Vol. 69, 2007, No. 7, pp. 587-596.

Blumenthal, J. A./Babyak, M. A./Moore, K. A./Craighead, W. E./Herman, S./Khatri, P./Waugh, R./Napolitano, M. A./Forman, L. M./Appelbaum, M./Doraiswamy, P. M./Krishnan, K. R. 1999: Effects of exercise training on older patients with major depression, in: Archives of Internal Medicine, Vol. 159, 1999, No. 19, pp. 2349-2356.

Carek, P. J./Laibstain, S. E./Carek, S. M. 2011: Exercise for the treatment of depression and anxiety, in: International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine, Vol. 41, 2011, No. 1, pp. 15-28.

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  • Reply
    4. March 2017 at 14:08

    Awesome post! I agree that playing sports and exercise has a long-term affect on mood and can decrease depression symptoms. There are tons more studies in the sports psychology field coming out recently that support this claim. Great read!
    If you have time check out my blog…

    • Reply
      4. March 2017 at 15:14

      Hi Chris,

      thank you so much for your comment! I’ll have a look at your blog and wish you an amazing, sporty weekend!
      Best wishes,
      Rosa 🙂

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