Posted by Richard Willett - Memes and headline comments by David Icke Posted on 21 May 2024

Mental health: Walking in nature is as good as therapy and drugs

Recent meta-analyses confirm that exercise significantly alleviates symptoms of depression, with activities like walking, yoga and strength training showing robust benefits for mental health. However, doing more than one hour of strength training per week, for example, will begin to negate longevity benefits. Moderate exercise such as walking, however, cannot be overdone.

One comprehensive review concluded that physical activity is 1.5 times more effective than the most prescribed antidepressants in reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Despite limited studies, dancing has shown substantial positive effects on mood, potentially enhanced by the social interaction and physical movement involved.

Consistent physical activity also significantly lowers the risk of insomnia, which is a common problem in depression.

If you struggle with depression, a consistent exercise routine should be your first priority. Just make sure you get the exercise dosing correct for the type of exercise you’re doing so that you’re not inadvertently negating other benefits.

Meta-Analysis Confirms the Therapeutic Potential of Exercise for Depression

By Dr. Joseph Mercola, 17 May 2024

For years, researchers have highlighted the therapeutic potential of exercise when it comes to preventing and treating depression. I’ve been a long-term advocate for exercise as a primary treatment option for depression, and two recent meta-analyses confirm just how well-reasoned this advice has been.

The most recent of the two, published in the February 2024 issue of the BMJ,1,2 analysed 218 randomised controlled trials with 14,170 participants, and found that a wide variety of exercises significantly alleviate symptoms of depression, regardless of severity. As reported by the authors:3

Lead author Michael Noetel, a senior lecturer at the School of Psychology in Queensland, Australia, told PsyPost:4  “We were surprised exercise worked so well for so many people. The benefits were bigger than we expected. Exercise was as good as therapy and drugs.”

Dance Your Blues Away

While dancing showed a particularly large effect, the authors didn’t give it much consideration due to the low number of studies (only five), and the low number of participants in each study. It makes sense that dancing would have a significant effect on mood though, considering it’s difficult to dance and hold on to distressed emotions. Try it sometime.

Dancing with a partner also brings in the oxytocin aspect. Oxytocin is often referred to as the “love hormone” because it plays a crucial role in forming social bonds and increasing trust among individuals.

It can improve relationships, which is a significant factor in overall mental well-being. It also has a calming effect and can reduce stress levels and anxiety by lowering the stress hormone cortisol. Music also engages your emotions, so it makes sense that music combined with physical movement might have a unique ability to change one’s emotional state.

Exercise is 1.5 Times More Effective than the Best Antidepressants

The second analysis – an overview of 97 systematic reviews5,6,7 – involved 128,119 participants who took part in 1,039 different trials. It was published in 2023. Populations included healthy adults, people with mental health disorders and people with chronic diseases.

Read More: Mental health: Walking in nature is as good as therapy and drugs

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