Massive New Study Links Exercise to Decreases in Depression

Exploring Intensity

Massive New Study Links Exercise to Decreases in Depression

Above: A panel from one of our favorite comics, Hyperbole and a Half. It often deals with depression. 

We’ll start this with our usual caveat: depression is a serious, complex issue and it is irresponsible to say that anything is a surefire cure. But a new meta-study of over one million people shows some evidence that exercise may offer some relief.

Researchers looked at three studies, which ended up being 1.1 million people (though this was almost all men). They recorded the fitness levels of the men either on a treadmill, a stationary bicycle or by asking them to run stairs.

And what they found was pretty shocking, according to this article:

…having low cardiorespiratory fitness is associated with a 75 percent higher risk of depression, while people with medium fitness levels have a 23 percent higher risk.

Now, of course that could mean that those who are battling depression have a harder time getting the energy and motivation to exercise. But when you’re looking at this many people it’s hard to ignore the likelihood that exercise can lower your risk of depression.

It’s impossible to guarantee the solution that will alleviate symptoms of depression for everyone, but exercise is worth adding to the mix of solutions. At Cardio High we have found that some of our clients have had a history of depression, and they found that exercise is a key component to keeping depression at bay. Other studies have shown that mild to moderate depression can be alleviated from exercise – but deep depression requires medication or treatments like TMS Therapy prior to undergoing exercise.

-Shane M.

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