Exercise can reduce depression and boost effects of therapy: study

Washington, April 2: Exercising for half an hour can reduce symptoms of depression for at least 75 minutes post-workout and amplify the benefits of therapy, according to a new study by researchers at Iowa State University. The research results were published in the journal “Frontiers In Psychiatry”.

“Much previous research on the effects of exercise on mental health, in general, has used very broad measures of well-being. per day – influence core symptoms of depression,” said Jacob Meyer, professor of kinesiology at ISU and lead author of both publications.

For the first study, the researchers recruited 30 adults who were experiencing major depressive episodes. Participants completed electronic surveys immediately before, halfway through, and after a 30-minute moderate-intensity seated or biking session, and 25, 50, and 75 minutes after the workout. Eating more mushrooms is good for your gut because edible mushrooms reduce health risks, study finds.

Those who cycled during the first visit to the lab came back a week later to repeat the experiment with 30 minutes of sitting, and vice versa. Each survey included standard questions and scales used to measure symptoms of depression and several cognitive tasks, including the Stroop test; participants responded to the color of a particular font rather than the word itself (for example, indicating red when they saw the word “blue” in red ink).

The researchers then used the survey data to track any changes in three characteristics of major depressive disorder, depressed mood state (for example, sad, discouraged, gloomy), anhedonia (it is i.e. difficulty feeling pleasure in previously enjoyed activities) and diminished cognitive function (e.g. difficulty thinking, juggling multiple pieces of information at once).

During the cycling experiment, participants’ depressed mood improved over the course of 30 minutes of exercise and steadily for up to 75 minutes afterwards. Improvement in anhedonia began to decline at 75 minutes after exercise, but was still better than participants’ anhedonia levels in the group that did not exercise.

Regarding cognitive function, participants who cycled were faster on the Stroop test in the middle of exercise, but relatively slower 25 and 50 minutes after exercise compared to participants in the resting group. Meyer said more research is needed to understand the variation.

“The cool thing is that these benefits for depressed mood and anhedonia could last longer than 75 minutes. We would need to do a longer study to determine when they start to wear off, but the results suggest a window of time after exercise when it may be easier or more effective for someone with depression to do something psychologically or cognitively demanding,” Meyer said.

He said that could include giving a presentation, taking a test — or going to therapy. “Can we synergize the short-term benefits we know with exercise and the clear long-term benefits with therapy to provide the most effective overall intervention?” Meyer asked. COVID-19 vaccine for children: NTAGI will review Covovax data for use in children 12 years and older.

As part of the effort to answer this question, Meyer and his research team conducted a separate pilot study. Half of the ten participants exercised alone (eg, cycling, jogging, walking) for 30 minutes at a pace they considered moderate intensity, which the researchers also checked with the Fitbit data, before signing up for one hour of virtual cognitive behavioral therapy each week. The other participants simply continued with their daily activities before their therapy sessions.

At the end of the eight-week intervention program, participants in both groups showed improvements, but those who exercised before talking with a therapist showed more pronounced reductions in symptoms of depression.

The researchers said the results indicate that exercise may help amplify the benefits of therapy for adults with depression.

“With such a small group, we haven’t done formal statistical testing, but the results are promising,” Meyer said. “Overall, the pilot study showed that people were interested in and would stick with the combination approach, and that exercise appeared to have effects on depression and a few therapy mechanisms,” he said. -he adds.

One of these mechanisms concerns the relationship between a client and the therapist. If someone feels a connection with their therapist, Meyer said, they’re more likely to continue in therapy, and the sessions are likely to have a greater impact.

In the pilot study, participants who exercised before the cognitive behavioral therapy session reported a faster and stronger connection with their therapists. The researchers said the findings suggest that exercise can prime or “fertilize” the brain to engage in more emotionally challenging work that can occur during therapy.

The researchers said they hope to expand the innovative studies in the coming years to better understand how exercise could be incorporated into an effective treatment or intervention for people with chronic depression.

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