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Low Intensity Exercise Shown to Substantially Reduce Risk of Depression

A new analysis published in the journal Neuroscience and Biobehavioural Reviews has discovered compelling links between regular low to moderate intensity exercise and significantly lower risks of depression and anxiety. The umbrella review conducted by researchers at Anglia Ruskin University examined numerous studies from around the globe investigating physical activity as an intervention for improved mental .

The findings were quite revealing, showing that any level of physical activity reduced the risk of depression by an impressive 23% on average. However, low and moderate intensity exercises saw especially strong associations with lowering depression risk. Activities like gardening, golf, and brisk walking were found to benefit mental health the most when performed regularly. High intensity workouts did not yield as pronounced results according to the analysis.

Physical activity was also found to cut the risk of more severe conditions such as psychosis and schizophrenia by over a quarter. Encouragingly, these effects appeared consistent across demographic factors like gender and age. The global scope of the reviewed research suggests the mental health perks of exercise translation well to diverse populations worldwide.

Lead researcher Professor Lee Smith of ARU emphasized that the intensity differences have implications for crafting effective exercise guidelines surrounding mental wellness. While moderate activity biochemical improves mood, intense exercise may exacerbate stress responses in some individuals. Therefore, tailoring recommendations to personal tolerance levels and preferences is wise.

Most notable was the finding that even light physical activity offered benefits without requiring full commitment to a vigorous program. Making small, sustainable lifestyle changes represent accessible ways to support mental health through increased movement. As depression remains a critical public health challenge, identifying preventative factors like low intensity exercise could prove highly impactful.

The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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