We all feel down sometimes. It’s a natural reaction to certain situations.
But depression is much more than that. It can negatively affect our family, work, social life, and more.
Fortunately, a new study found there may be a simple way to brighten your mood and beat back depressive symptoms. All it takes is 30 minutes each day!
Let me explain…
Get up, get moving, keep talking
According to researchers at Iowa State University, exercising for 30 minutes may keep depressive symptoms at bay.
For the first study, researchers examined 30 adults experiencing feelings of depression and split them into two groups. One group cycled for 30 minutes at moderate intensity. The second group sat still for 30 minutes.
Participants also completed surveys before, halfway-through, and after their instructed activity. Researchers used the responses to assess participants’ mood and any changes in cognitive function.
Ultimately, they found that cycling for 30 minutes improved participants’ mood for up to 75 minutes post-exercise.
Of course, talk therapy—talking through emotional issues with a mental health professional—is an effective way to improve one’s mood as well. So, researchers aimed to determine if a combination of exercise and talk therapy could maximize benefits for those suffering from depression…
In a second, small study, one group of participants exercised on their own for 30 minutes at a pace they considered to be moderate intensity. The second group went about their day-to-day activities. Then, they each signed into a one-hour, virtual talk therapy session.
Not surprisingly, researchers found both groups benefited from talk therapy. But the exercise group showed pronounced reductions in depressive symptoms.
Exercise can be FUN
This isn’t the first time I’ve offered an exercise prescription to boost your mood… and it certainly won’t be the last.
But I also understand that exercise can feel daunting, even when you’re in the best mood.
That’s one reason why I encourage you to find a routine that’s fun or relaxing to you. Maybe it’s dancing, swimming, yoga, or something else.
As for me, my absolute favorite workout is a cycling class called Soul Cycle. Classes take place in a dark room, with music blaring, and a beat that keeps you going the entire time. I even find myself wanting more when it’s done.
But on days where I may need something more relaxing, I also enjoy a casual stroll with my beagle Remington.
Ultimately, all you have to do is commit to moving your body daily. Your body and your mind will thank you.
For additional ways to boost your mood, check out the March issue of my monthly newsletter, Logical Health Alternatives (“Dine your way out of depression with six powerful ‘mood foods’). Not yet a subscriber? Click here to become one!
Until next week,
“Exercise may reduce depression symptoms, boost effects of therapy.” ScienceDaily, 03/30/2022. (sciencedaily.com/releases/2022/03/220330101735.htm)