By Chad D. Rethorst, Ph.D.
Depression often results in significant economic and health burdens on society. One factor that contributes to this burden is the challenge in successful treatment of depression. Research indicates that nearly half of patients do not respond to initial treatment and one-third remain depressed even after multiple treatment attempts. While this indicates a need for more effective ways to treat people with depression, many researchers are also examining strategies to prevent depression.
In my research, I’ve observed patients with depression whose conditions have improved by following an exercise program as a part of treatment. Now, a recent study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry indicates that exercise may also be one way to prevent depression. The researchers who conducted this study found that 1-2 hours of exercise per week is enough to significantly reduce the risk of depression. People who reported no exercise were 44 percent more likely to be depressed in the future compared to those who exercised for 1-2 hours per week.
While 1-2 hours per week may sound like a daunting goal for someone who doesn’t exercise, so it is even more encouraging that the results suggest that as little as 30 minutes of exercise per week may be beneficial. Also, the researchers found that the intensity of the exercise did not impact the preventive effect. So, one 30-minute walk per week may be enough to help prevent depression.
While the results of this study are encouraging, more research in this area is needed. We need to develop effective interventions to increase exercise among persons at risk for depression and we need to understand the biology of how exercise prevents depression. With a greater understanding of these issues, we can hopefully reduce the burden caused by depression.
Chad D. Rethorst, Ph.D.
Center for Depression Research and Clinical Care
Department of Psychiatry
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
THIS WEEK’S TOP STORIES
Male menopause: Myth or reality?
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Video collection: Desk stretches
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How accurate are the blood pressure machines in grocery stores and drugstores?
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HEALTH TIP OF THE WEEK
Is there more to hydration than water?
Water is a great choice for staying hydrated. Water is calorie-free, inexpensive and readily available. But water isn’t your only option. Remember that food also contributes to your daily fluid needs. Many fruits and vegetables, such as watermelon and tomatoes, are 90 percent or more water by weight. Beverages such as milk and juice also are composed mostly of water. In moderation, even beer, wine and caffeinated beverages can contribute to your daily fluid needs.
Need practical advice on diet and exercise? Want creative solutions for stress and other lifestyle issues? Discover more healthy lifestyle topics at mayoclinic.org.
Living with diabetes: Tips for watching calories when eating out
Did you know that many restaurants serve meals that exceed the recommended calorie limit? This may make eating out a challenge for many people. Try these suggestions the next time you dine out.
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Stroke: Symptoms and causes
A stroke is a medical emergency, and prompt treatment is crucial. A stroke occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is interrupted or severely reduced, depriving brain tissue of oxygen and nutrients. Within minutes, brain cells begin to die. Early action can minimize brain damage and potential complications. Do you know the signs and symptoms of stroke?
Also in today’s tips …
Mental health providers: Finding one for your needs
If you’ve never seen a mental health provider, you likely don’t know what to expect, and you may not know how to find one who suits your specific needs. For example, some providers specialize in certain areas, such as depression, substance misuse or family therapy. Credentials may vary among providers. And they may work in different settings, such as private practice, hospitals, community agencies or other facilities. Here are some things to keep in mind as you search for a mental health provider.
Video: Take a break for meditation
Need a few minutes to relax? Get comfortable in your chair. Loosen any tight, uncomfortable clothing. Let your arms rest loosely at your side. Allow yourself to listen and relax.
Juicing: What are the health benefits?
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Geographic tongue: Symptoms and causes
Geographic tongue is a harmless inflammatory condition affecting the surface of your tongue, giving it a maplike, or geographic, appearance. The condition can continue for days, months or years. It often resolves on its own but may appear again later. Learn more about the symptoms and causes of geographic tongue.
This week, I did a quick little video snap on the amazing healing powers of golden milk paste/turmeric lattes over on instagram …continue reading >
The post Golden Milk Paste + The Super Healing Turmeric Latte appeared first on Simply Real Health.
Ever-increasing numbers of physicians and research studies tout the benefits of yoga, but is it truly being integrated into healthcare? A recent article in Yoga Journal notes that physicians are prescribing yoga in greater numbers than ever, and there are now more than 130 yoga therapy training programs worldwide. But what kind of access do […]