Thursday, June 28, 2018

Exercise Is the Best Medicine

In the public interest… and in your own very personal interest... I report on the latest from the world of medical research. It will not come as news, and one hopes that the advice is superfluous, but a new study has demonstrated, yet again, that exercise is the best medicine.

Exercise is wildly helpful in treating depression; it is certainly as effective as medication. Which do you prefer: the Stairmaster or pills? Better yet, exercise strengthens your heart muscle, thus serving to prevent heart disease.

Exercise may be just as crucial to the well-being of people with depression as finding effective medication, suggests new research.

A new study involving more than 17,000 participants found that those with high fitness in middle age were significantly less likely to die from heart disease in later life - even if they were diagnosed with depression.

And also:

Heart health and depression often go hand-in-hand and depression has been linked to higher probabilities that someone will develop heart disease and chest pain. 

The University of Texas scientists suggest that starting to exercise early in life and continuing to do it often could protect both the mental and physical health of patients battling depression and facing heart disease risks. 

But, the mountain of scientific evidence does not propel enough people to the gym or to the hiking trails. Researchers recognize that people who feel hopeless are less likely to find the motivation to exercise.

Dr. Trivedi, a scientist at the University of Texas has addressed that problem:

He recommends patients take several steps to boost their chances of success, including setting aside a consistent time to exercise every day, but do not get discouraged by stretches of inactivity.

Dr Trivedi said keep a log to track progress, varying exercises to avoid monotony, and exercising with a friend also help.

In other words, don’t worry about performing mental gymnastics to put yourself in the right state of mind. Don't wait until you are in the mood. You do better to routinize the activity and to make it part of your social life.

Good advice, indeed.

1 comment:

Ares Olympus said...

All good advice. Related, and I've not taken the bait yet myself, but many people seem to love their Fitbit bands that monitor their steps, and lots more each day, and can apparently even prod you to get up and move around regularly, since they also say even an hour of vigorous exercise each day won't counteract the health costs of sitting for hours at a time day after day.