If you need another reason to get moving, this is it. A new study has further solidified that exercise helps battle depression and, in turn, save lives. Why? Because there is a strong link between depression and heart failure. So, researchers believe that exercise, while improving the overall physical health of the person, also helps improve mental well-being:
“This study shows that exercise is associated not only with physical health benefits, but important mental health benefits as well,” lead study author James Blumenthal told reporters. The findings are published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).
For the new study, more than 2,000 patients with heart failure across the U.S., Canada and France were tested for possible depression and then were randomly assigned to receive either usual care for their heart condition, or usual care plus a program of aerobic exercise — either riding a stationary bike or using a treadmill. After three months and again after 12 months, the study participants were followed up for depressive symptoms. The exercise group saw modest but statistically unambiguous reductions in depressive symptoms compared with the group that didn’t exercise.
After 30 months, when the study concluded, the exercise group was also found to have a very slightly lower risk of hospitalization and of death. This difference, although small, was also statistically unambiguous, in that there was a large enough number of people in the trial that it’s unlikely the finding was due to chance alone.
more at Time.com