It is well known that exercise is important to maintain one’s physical health. Keeping active assists with maintaining bone density and muscle strength as we age, as well as keeping our bodies resilient to the forces we expose them to in everyday tasks. Exercise is also very helpful in maintaining and improving our mental health as well.
One in six New Zealanders will experience a major episode of depression during their lifetime according to the New Zealand Mental Health Foundation (MHF). That’s more common than people living with heart disease throughout NZ. It has been well documented throughout the literature that exercise is an effective way of improving and maintaining mental health. Doyne et al (1983) found that symptoms of depression were reduced after participants exercised for 30 minutes, four times a week over a period of six weeks. A Larger analysis also supports this finding. North et al (1990) reviewed 80 studies and concluded that exercise was effective in reducing depression in a wide range of populations.
Practically, exercise can be challenging to fit around busy work and home lives. Depression itself can often be a barrier to exercise as it can decrease individual’s motivation levels. Finding a style of exercise that you find enjoyable is also important and makes it easier to maintain your activity levels. Exercise does not need to be intense either to have positive effects on mood. Craft & Landers (1998) note that 20 minutes of exercise, three times a week is satisfactory in reducing depressive symptoms.
So try to get out and about, your mind and body will thank you for it!
Keywords: “Botany Physio” Botany Physiotherapy”