Exercise helps depression

By Vicky A on 17 September 2015

 

It has long been known that regular exercise is good for our physical health. It can reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease and strokes.

In recent years, studies have shown that regular physical activity also has benefits for our mental health. Exercise can help people with depression and prevent them becoming depressed in the first place.

Dr Alan Cohen, a GP with a special interest in mental health, says that when people get depressed or anxious, they often feel they're not in control of their lives.

"Exercise gives them back control of their bodies and this is often the first step to feeling in control of other events," he says.

Anyone with depression can benefit from doing regular exercise, but it's especially useful for people with mild depression.

"Any type of exercise is useful as long as it suits you and you do enough of it," says Dr Cohen. "Exercise should be something you enjoy, otherwise it will be hard to find the motivation to do it regularly."

www.nhs.uk