Exercise has many health benefits, including preventing illnesses and making it easier to lose weight. Now, a new study has found it may help relieve some symptoms of depression.
In a new study conducted by Ruhr-University Bochum, researchers explored some of the potential mental health benefits of being physically active.
They found that regular exercise and staying as active as possible has huge benefits on the brain, especially for those suffering from depression.
According to the results of the study, physical activity has a significant impact on brain activity and can help it adapt to change more easily, which can reduce depression-related symptoms.
How exercise affects mental health
To determine whether there are mental health benefits to exercising, the researchers found forty people receiving clinical treatment for depression to take part in this study.
They were split into two groups. Over a three-week period, one group completed an exercise program and the second group continued with their regular routine.
Then, the researchers tracked the depression symptoms of the participants to determine how exercising affected their mental health outcomes.
The researchers found that engaging in a regular exercise routine had a number of benefits. One of these benefits was that it improved the participants’ ability to adapt to change.
Another key finding of the study was that the more the participants were able to change and adapt, the more manageable their symptoms were by the end of the study.
This improved some of their symptoms, including a lack of motivation, loss of interest, and persistent negative feelings. Moving forward, the researchers hope these findings highlight the mental health benefits of regular physical activity.
“The ability to change is important for all of the brain’s learning and adaptation processes. The results show how important seemingly simple things like physical activity are in treating and preventing illnesses such as depression,” said researcher Dr. Karin Rosenkranz.