Mental health

How does aerobic exercise impact mental health?

Hearty Team
Jan 23, 2023

Does regular aerobic exercise improve symptoms of depression? Recent research suggests that it does, at least for young adults. 

Study Summary 

This new research, which relied on data from various medical databases, found that: 

• Regular aerobic exercise leads to reduction in the symptoms of depression for young people aged 13+, who have been diagnosed with depression.

• Regular was defined as continuously engaging in aerobic exercise, at least 3 times per week.

• In this research, intensity did not matter as much as regularity.

• Unsupervised exercise programs were more effective, when compared to supervised exercise, in reducing symptoms.

The Hearty Take

Previous to this research, it had been shown that regular aerobic exercise, such as running or walking, improved mood and reduced stress. These results add evidence to support aerobic exercises’ mental health benefits for depression, at least for young people aged 13 and over. Imagine a future in which doctors could prescribe exercise for those with depression!

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