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Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Exercise may ease symptoms of major depression and help with healing

Exercise May Ease Symptoms Of Major Depression And Help With Healing
© iStock/Skynesher

Exercising for 30 minutes followed by at least 75 minutes of exercise can reduce symptoms of major depression and improve healing.

Major depression is a mood disorder that causes persistent feelings of sadness and loss of interest. It greatly affects how you feel, think, and behave with symptoms including feelings of hopelessness, irritability, fatigue, and anxiety.

Researchers at Iowa State University set out to understand the effects of exercise on symptoms of major depression and to find out whether it improves the effectiveness of therapy.

“Many previous research on the effects of exercise on mental health has used much broader measures of well-being in general. What we were interested in, in particular, is this: how intense exercise is — that is, a day. One session of exercise in the U.S.—influences the primary symptoms of depression,” explained Jacob Meyer, a professor of kinesiology at ISU and lead author of both. Publication.

Studying exercise and major depression symptoms

Researchers recruited 30 adults who were experiencing major depressive episodes. Participants filled out electronic surveys before a 30-minute session of moderate-intensity cycling or sitting, before halfway through, and then immediately after a 25, 50, and 75-minute workout. Those who cycled during the first lab visit came back a week later to sit back for 30 minutes and perform the experiment again with the opposite experiment.

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Each survey included standard questions and scales used to measure symptoms of major depression and a number of cognitive functions, including the Stroop test; Participants responded to the color of a particular font rather than to the word itself (for example, indicating a red color when they saw the word ‘blue’ in red ink).

Researchers used survey data to track any changes in three characteristics of major depression: depressed mood, anhedonia, and decreased cognitive function. They found that depressed mood improved during 30 minutes of exercise and persisted for 75 minutes afterwards. Improvement in anhedonia decreased after 75 minutes of exercise.

For cognitive function, cycling participants were faster at mid-exercise of the Stroop test, but were relatively slower at 25 and 50 minutes post-exercise than participants in the resting group. Meyer said additional research is needed to understand the variation.

“The good thing is that there are these benefits for depressed mood and anhedonia can last for more than 75 minutes. We’ll need to do a longer study to determine when they start to subside, but the results are time-consuming. suggest a later window when it may be easier or more effective for someone with depression to do something psychologically or cognitively,” said Meyer.

This could include giving a presentation, giving a test or going for therapy, he said.

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“Can we reconcile the short-term benefits that we know occur with exercise and the obvious long-term benefits with therapy to deliver the most effective holistic intervention?” asked the mayor.

researching exercise and medicine

Half of the ten participants exercised on their own for 30 minutes before participating in an hour of virtual cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). The other group did not change their routine before therapy.

At the end of the eight-week intervention program, participants in both groups showed improvement, but those who exercised before talking to a physician had a more pronounced reduction in depression symptoms.

The researchers said the results suggest that exercise may help enhance the benefits of therapy for adults with depression.

“With such a small group, we did not conduct formal statistical testing, but the results are promising,” Meyer concluded. “Overall, the pilot study showed that people were interested and would stick with the combined approach, and that the practice appears to have some effect on depression and certain mechanisms of therapy.”

One of those mechanisms relates to the relationship between client and therapist. If someone feels a connection with their therapist, Meyer said, there’s a higher chance they’ll continue to seek therapy and the sessions will have a greater impact.


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