Exercise is one of the most potent antidepressants that’s available to everyone, with the least side effects. Don’t believe me? Let’s look at the facts.
According to the American Psychological Association, 12.7 percent of Americans are on antidepressants, that’s one in six people. Antidepressant use has increased 64 percent since 1999, and women are twice as likely to use them. So it’s safe to say that some people are feeling pretty low. But it’s important to question whether antidepressants are for you – have you exhausted all other avenues?
Prescription medication often comes with side effects, which shouldn’t be ignored. Antidepressantsthese may include nausea, weight gain, loss of sex drive, fatigue, constipation, and more unappealing symptoms. That being said, sometimes antidepressants are necessary for individuals with serious depression just to function, which we aren’t ignoring. But what about other means of mood-boosting?
A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association looked at genetic data from more than 600,000 adults, and they found physical activity plays an important and likely causal role in reducing the risk for depression. The study looked at a number of factors associated with depression, including genetic and medical history and the prevalence of symptoms. The researchers found that the adults who exercised regularly were less likely to experience depression.
The study found that with every increase in physical activity, for example replacing 20 minutes of watching TV with a 20-minute run, decreased depression by 26 percent. The researchers concluded that if you do at least 15 minutes of exercise per day, you will feel better and science backs this up.
So if you’re one of many millions of Americans that feel routinely low and you want a mood booster that will leave you feeling more energized and happier, with no side effects, then it’s time to start exercising.
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