Pas Trusted News – Study finds certain conditions may affect how much exercise you need to ease depression

ATLANTA — At least 20 minutes of moderate activity five days a week can significantly reduce the risk of depressive symptoms for people over age 50 who have conditions often associated with depression, according to a new study. , such as diabetes, heart disease and chronic pain. found.

According to Diabetes UK, people with diabetes have twice the risk of depression, and a 2017 study found that patients with heart disease were twice as likely to die if they developed depression after diagnosis. According to a separate 2017 study, 85% of people with chronic pain experience severe depression.

According to lead study author Eamonn Laird, a researcher at the Physical Activity for Health Research Center at the university, it took two hours of moderate to vigorous exercise a day for people without a chronic illness to see improvements in depressive symptoms. Needed. Limerick in Ireland.

Moderate physical activity is generally defined as an activity that “takes your breath away” so that it is difficult to speak while doing it. Examples include brisk walking, bicycling, dancing, playing tennis, or running up and down stairs. If the level of exercise is increased to vigorous — such as jogging or running, during which breathing quickens and heart rate increases — the amount of time spent exercising can be shortened, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. According.

“What is unique about this study is that it is the first and largest investigation of a longitudinal cohort – with and without chronic illness – that tried to find out what the lowest minimum dose was to see a difference in depression,” Laird said.

“We do not advocate reducing activity levels in any population, but these findings suggest that even lower-than-recommended doses may protect mental health over time in older adults,” he added. “These doses may be more attainable because many older adults may find it difficult to engage in physical activity for a variety of reasons.”

10 year study

The study, published Monday in the JAMA Network open journal, followed more than 4,000 Irish adults with an average age of 61 for 10 years. Participants who were part of the Irish Longitudinal Study on Aging were assessed every two years. They were asked about their levels of physical activity and exercise and were given tests to determine the number of depressive symptoms they displayed – if the symptoms were excessive, they were classified as having major depression.

“Examples of symptoms from the questionnaire included: I was having trouble keeping my attention focused on what I was doing; I was having restless sleep; I felt that I could get over the sadness even with the help of my family and friends. Can’t find, etc,” Laird said in an email.

Those who had experienced a major depressive episode during the past 12 months were also placed in the major depression group. An episode is defined as a period of two weeks or more in which the person experienced fatigue, feelings of sadness and hopelessness, loss of interest in activities or sleep problems, weight gain or loss, or suicidal thoughts .

The study found that the more time people spent exercising, the better. The study noted that people who got at least 20 minutes of moderate exercise five days a week had a 16% lower rate of depressive symptoms and a 43% lower risk of major depression, compared to those who didn’t exercise.

According to the study, those who exercised for two hours a day benefited the most, with a 23% reduction in depressive symptoms and a 49% reduction in the risk of major depression.

“The higher the dose of physical activity, the greater the mental health benefits for depression,” Larid said.

Unfortunately, the overall rate of depression for the entire group increased from an average of 8% to 12% over 10 years, while antidepressant use increased from about 6% to 10%. However, rates of exercise also declined by about 10% for either group during the study period.

Physical activity is absolutely fantastic. If you combine this with eating a more plant-based diet, de-stressing, getting enough sleep, and connecting with others – you have your magic recipe. It’s the fountain of youth, if you will.

– Dr. Andrew Freeman

reducing the risk of depression

The study’s findings weren’t surprising, Larid said, considering previous extensive research that shows a strong link between exercise and reducing depression. A systematic review and meta-analysis published in 2022 found that just 2.5 hours of brisk walking a week was associated with a 25% reduction in depressive symptoms. The same study also found that doing half the amount reduced the risk of depression by 18%.

Another large review published in February found that physical exercise is 1.5 times more effective at reducing mild to moderate symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression than antidepressants or cognitive behavioral therapy, which is considered a gold standard treatment. .

Exercise does much more for a person’s health than just reducing depression. It keeps the body in optimal shape, allowing it to function efficiently and do a better job of warding off all kinds of diseases.

“Physical activity is absolutely fantastic,” Dr. Andrew Freeman, director of cardiovascular prevention and wellness at National Jewish Health in Denver, Colorado, told CNN in an earlier interview.

“If you combine this with eating a more plant-based diet, de-stressing, getting enough sleep, and connecting with others — that’s your magic recipe,” she said. “It’s the fountain of youth, if you will.”

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