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BLOG: Can exercise help those who are already “healthy”?

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Tons of research already exists to show that physical activity is a wonderful resource for those diagnosed with clinical depression, severe anxiety, or other serious mood disorder issues.

The American Psychological Association conducted a new study to see if regular exercise can also help those who are generally mentally healthy, but just are physically inactive. Could exercise affect their mental health also?

The individuals studied were well-adjusted, jovial people, with low anxiety levels. They were sedentary adults, aged 20 to 45. They began with a study questionnaire to measure their level of depression, anxiety, hostility and anger. As expected, they found that all 119 men and women had begun the experiment with sturdy mental health.

One group (the control group) continued their sedentary life as usual. The second group were monitored, in a lab, for 35 minutes of moderate aerobic exercises ( treadmills or stationary bicycle ), four times a week, for three months. After the three months, the exercise group resumed their former inactivity for a month.

After the four month routine, the scientists checked for changes in the mental health of both groups. As expected the exercise group lowered their already-low levels of depression & hostility. Even after a month of inactivity, the exercising group maintained healthier scores for depression and hostility than the control group, but slowly began returning to where they had begun, after staying inactivite. Of course, the other (control) group’s depression & hostility scores barely changed, they didn’t lower & they didn’t rise either.

Exercise, even in small increments, can lift a person’s mood, can lessen depression, relieve anxiety, and refocus a scattered, over active brain.

The results suggest that exercise has real benefits for mood, even if our moods aren’t super low to start with. Exercise and extra-movement helps not only the body, but the mind. The mind and body are wholly linked!

The simplest prescription is that exercise, even in small increments, can lift a person’s mood, can lessen depression, relieve anxiety, and refocus a scattered, over active brain. Exercise should be a celebration of what your body can do, not a punishment for what you’ve eaten.

– Estee Denise “Nisey” Ratliff

I’ve lost over 100 pounds \o/. See my story here. I am NOT a nutritionist or a doctor. This blog is NOT meant to be a substitute for any professional guidance or counseling. The information I provide merely reflects my own personal experiences and is NOT meant to take the place of medical or nutrition advice from professionals. But it’s helpful and pretty…so enjoy!

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