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Posted by on May 1, 2018 in Personal Development |

The Psychology of Happiness Part 3:  Being Active

The Psychology of Happiness Part 3: Being Active

The Mind – Body connection plays an important part in happiness

The benefit of physical wellbeing on mental wellbeing is well documented. Exercise can be a natural remedy to depression and significantly lower relapse rates.

Exercise is the unsung hero in battling stress.

Research in the USA took 156 people suffering from clinical depression (Babyak et al 2000).  52 were given strong antidepressant drugs.  52 were given drugs plus asked to exercise for 30 minutes three times a week.  The final 52 were asked only to exercise for 30 minutes 3 times a week.  After 2 months the levels of improvement were fairly equal at around 60% improvement (those on medication alone improving more quickly than the other groups).  It was also noted that those who were on drugs had improved more quickly than those taking exercise alone.

The more incredible part of the research came 10 months later when researchers looked at the levels of re-occurrence of depression.  Of those that had taken drugs or drugs and exercise the relapse rates were 38% (medication only) and 31% (medication and exercise).  From the group that used exercise alone relapse into depression occurred in only 9%.

The key message here is not that exercise is an antidepressant. However, lack of exercise can act as a depressant.