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  • Writer's picturePanorama Psychology

Research Recap: Can Exercise be an Effective Treatment for Depression?

Updated: May 9

Have you ever felt the exhilarating rush after a workout? Turns out, there's a science-backed reason behind that feel-good sensation (sometimes called a "runner's high"). We wanted to take a moment to dive into a study that unveils the remarkable connection between exercise and mental well-being.

Study Spotlight: Exercise & Depression

A groundbreaking study led by James A. Blumenthal, Ph.D., et al., shed light on the power of exercise in treating major depression. Here's the scoop:

The Experiment: Adults battling major depression were divided into three groups: exercise, medication, and a combination of both. The exercise group engaged in aerobic workouts three times a week for four months.

The Discovery: The results? Exercise proved to be as effective as medication in reducing depression symptoms during the initial phase, and the follow-up assessment at TEN months showed that both the exercise-only group and the combination group (exercise + medication) had significantly lower depression scores compared to the medication-only group.

Sustaining the Benefits: What truly amazed the researchers was that those who continued their exercise regimen beyond the initial four months experienced a lower rate of depression relapse. That's right – exercise can protect against the return of depressive symptoms.

The Takeaway: This study isn't just about physical activity; it's about the power of the mind-body connection. Regular exercise isn't just a quick mood fix – it's a sustainable mental wellness strategy that can lift you up in the long run.

So, the next time you lace up your sneakers, remember, you're not just working out your muscles – you're nourishing you mind too.


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