Do you know a teenager who is struggling with depression? A new study says that exercise might help improve their mood.
According to a story from WebMD, researchers in Britain found that a regular workout routine significantly lessened the symptoms of depression.
The study was a small one but the results are promising. Teenage boys and girls with a diagnosis of depression were enrolled in trainer-led workouts three times a week for 12 weeks. They were encouraged to exercise 30 minutes a day on the other days.
According to the researchers, the workouts were linked to significant boosts in mood, with the severity of their depression cut by 63 percent.
In fact, eighty-three percent of the teens who completed the exercise program were no longer as depressed by the end of the study.
Study author Robin Callister, of the University of Newcastle says "Exercise has so many advantages as a therapy: It is non-drug, has few side effects and has countless other health benefits. But it has never been tested in youth as treatment for depression.”
Dr. Callister and his team are now conducting a larger trial to further evaluate the effects of exercise on depression.
An expert from the US says the findings make sense.
Mark Solmes at the New York Neuropsychoanalysis Association points out that it is well established that vigorous regular exercise raises endorphin levels, and that endorphins reduce the mental pain of depression just as they reduce physical pain.
Solms points out that a potential hurdle is that it’s very difficult to motivate depressed people to exercise.” To read more about this study, go to webmd.com.