A New Drug To Treat Depression

January 23, 2012 at 11:30 am Leave a comment

  by Clementine O’Shaughnessy, BA Hons, Dip Counselling, DHP, HPD, LHS

Three out of four of British people experience depression at some stage of their lives. Most of these people do not receive adequate care. However, researchers may have discovered a new “drug” for depression that most people can take advantage of and utilize: Exercise.


In an American study, (which involved 80 adults aged 20 to 45 years who were diagnosed with mild to moderate depression) researchers looked at exercise alone to treat the condition and found:


• Depressive symptoms were cut almost in half in those individuals who participated in 30-minute aerobic exercise sessions, three to five times a week after 12 weeks
• Those who exercised with low-intensity for three and five days a week showed a 30 percent reduction in symptoms
• Participants who did stretching flexibility exercises 15 to 20 minutes three days a week averaged a 29 percent decline


However, most people who are not used to exercising don’t know where to start. Even the thought of exercise is daunting, especially if you are over-weight. When clients ask me about advice, I suggest gentle walking. Its easy, low impact on the knees and back, cheap and can be done at any time of the day.


A 2010 study on primates published in Neuroscience also revealed that regular exercise not only improved blood flow to the brain, but also helped the monkeys learn new tasks twice as quickly as non-exercising monkeys; a benefit the researchers believe would hold true for people as well.


We all know that children need exercise. We also know that they don’t get enough of it. Apparently less than a third of kids aged 6 – 17 yrs get 20 minutes of exercise a day. This is awful! Ensuring kids get enough exercise means a reduced risk of diabetes, improved immune function, weight loss, better sleep, improved mood, increased energy, reduced restlessness and stronger bones.


This blog post also appears in Clementine’s personal blog www.clementine-hypnotherapy.co.uk/blog


Entry filed under: Hypnotherapy.

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