Regular exercise busts stress and depression
A new study urged physical therapists to engage their patients with regular physical activities to ward off stress and depression.
The recommendation comes after a research duo from Boston University and the Southern Methodist University in Dallas found in their meta-analysis that exercise programs can reduce depression and anxiety.
One of the researchers, Jasper Smits, likened the effect of exercise to antidepressants. He said exercise helps patients with depression "re-establish positive behaviors."
To ensure that patients strictly follow their exercise programs, researchers suggested that physical therapists plan out their patients' daily schedule of physical activities and help them set personal goals.
"This isn't about working out five times a week for the next year. It's about exercising for 20 or 30 minutes and feeling better today," Smits said.
The researchers based their recommendation on a meta-analysis of dozens of population-based studies linking exercise and mental health. The results of the study were presented in the recent annual conference of the Anxiety Disorder Association of America in Baltimore, Maryland.
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