"Varied Exercises Proven Effective in Treating Depression, Study Finds"

Results indicated that both walking/jogging and yoga were effective for individuals of all genders, while strength training particularly benefited younger individuals and women.

Engaging in walking, jogging, and yoga offers numerous health benefits, including improved cardiovascular health, increased flexibility, and reduced stress levels. A recent study featured in the British Medical Journal suggests that engaging in activities such as walking, jogging, yoga, and strength training can be effective methods for alleviating depression.

The study, published by the British Medical Journal, highlights the benefits of these exercises, indicating that while low-intensity workouts are beneficial, more vigorous activities tend to yield even greater results. According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 300 million people worldwide are affected by depression, making it a leading cause of disability globally. Despite its prevalence, guidelines regarding the optimal prescription of exercise as a treatment for depression remain unclear. In the study, researchers analyzed 218 trials involving 14,170 participants with depression, assessing various factors including exercise type, intensity, and frequency.

Results indicated that both walking/jogging and yoga were effective for individuals of all genders, while strength training particularly benefited younger individuals and women. However, yoga showed greater effectiveness for men and older adults. In an accompanying editorial, Juan Ángel Bellón from the University of Malaga highlighted the challenges individuals with depression face in maintaining regular exercise routines due to symptoms of fatigue and low energy.

Bellón emphasized the importance of health services providing accessible, individualized, and supervised exercise programs to help overcome these barriers. While the study acknowledges limitations in evidence quality and the lack of long-term monitoring in some trials, it underscores the potential of exercise as a core treatment for depression. Despite ongoing debates and variations in treatment guidelines, exercise remains a commonly recommended complementary therapy alongside psychotherapy and medication for managing depression.

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