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Can Exercise Reduce Depression?


About Depression

In 2020, the World Health Organization listed depression as one of the top three diseases to be taken seriously.

Depression is a persistent and severe form of depression that can be caused by several factors, including external stress, genetics, and endocrine disorders.

When suffering from depression, symptoms such as insomnia, loss of appetite, overeating, irritability, somatization, and even suicidal behavior may occur in severe cases.

The Blumenthal Experiment

Psychologist James Blumenthal asked more than 100 subjects with depression and randomly divided them into a medication group (taking the antidepressant Zoloft), an exercise group (exercising three times a week for 30 minutes each time), and a medication and exercise group (taking both exercise and medication).

The study found the same percentage of improvement in symptoms in the exercise and medication groups. This time he did not divide the subjects into different groups, but let them choose what they wanted to do, such as exercise, counseling, and medication, and after six months those who chose to keep exercising had the least chance of relapse, only 10% to 12.5%.

It was concluded that exercise and medication are equally effective in the treatment.

How exactly does exercise help us with depression?

Researchers found that the hippocampal gyrus of depressed patients is smaller than the average person, and exercise helps the growth of the hippocampal gyrus, which can help patients release depression in their hearts, and when the liver sugar in the muscle is used up will increase the production of "endorphins" and bring a sense of pleasure.

In low-intensity exercise, the brain will also release a kind of "brain-derived neurotrophic factor (Brain-derived neurotrophic factor)" protein, which helps repair and protect brain cells, and the process of growing new cells and nerves in the brain will make people feel better!


Exercise is not a panacea, nor does it work for everyone with depression, but it can be mentally uplifting and physically beneficial. Choose to be healthy, not for anyone, but for yourself.

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