The Vicious Cycle of Depression and Lack of Exercise

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Does depression make us lethargic, or does lack of exercise make us depressed? The Mental Elf tries to answer this question, and reviews a recent study of the relationship between exercise and depression and whether or not exercise can be an effective “therapy.”

“This is a very relevant study to the field of depression as it indicates that exercise is a viable therapy for depression at any age (besides being a healthy choice in general),” writes the Mental Elf. “It also shows that being depressed when younger may lead to inactivity, which further exacerbates depression and vice versa. This vicious circle is where stepping up the physical activity may help: Exercise is a therapy that can be easily “self-administered”, does not require any prescription and may be prophylactic. For example, this study found that increasing activity levels from nothing to at least three times a week reduced the odds of becoming depressed by nearly 20%.”

Does depression make us lethargic, or does lack of exercise make us depressed? (The Mental Elf, November 11, 2014.)

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