While I wouldn’t go so far as to say it is common knowledge, the concept of exercise being a means to alleviate the severity of depression isn’t exactly news. There have been many studies conducted on the topic, and while there has been strong evidence to support this belief for a while now, it has recently become official, according to an article by Good News Network.
“The dual beneficial effect of physical activity in depression is confirmed by a study at Ruhr-Universität Bochum: not only does it reduce depressive symptoms—which you may have already guessed.
“Perhaps more surprisingly, it also increases the brain’s ability to change, which is necessary for adaptation and learning processes.
“People with depression often withdraw and are physically inactive. To investigate the effect of physical activity, Karin Rosenkranz’s working group enlisted 41 people, who were undergoing treatment at the hospital, for the study. The participants were each assigned to one of two groups, one of which completed a three-week exercise program.
“The program, which was developed by the sports science team from the University of Bielefeld led by Professor Thomas Schack, was varied, contained fun elements, and did not take the form of a competition or test, but instead required teamwork from the participants.
“The results show that the brain’s ability to change is lower in people with depression than in healthy people.
“Following the program with physical activity, this ability to change increased significantly and achieved the same values as healthy people,” the article says.
Personally, I’ve always found exercise to be a mood booster, and reading this information helped me to gain a better understanding of just how exactly depression and physical activity coincide. If you’ve ever considered exercise to enhance your mood, I’m hoping this article does the same for you as it does for me and encourages you to give it a shot.