Los Angeles, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 11/07/2013 -- Research has suggested that being physically active has mental benefits in addition to physical ones. But recently, a review published in the Journal of Preventive Medicine has taken this conclusion one step further and suggested that moderate exercise can actually prevent depression, anxiety, and other mental conditions from ever developing.
Researcher George Mammen analyzed over 26 years of research for his review, discovering that even those with low amounts of physical activity were less likely to develop depressive conditions than those who were sedentary. These findings come at a time when psychologists and other mental health professionals are looking for alternatives to costly prescriptive medicines to treat effectively treat depression and other conditions.
“Our health system is taxed. We need to shift focus and look for ways to fend off depression from the start,” Mammen stressed in his review.
While the review acknowledged there are other factors such as genetics, choices, and situational factors that can lead to the development of depression, he stressed that his research offered a clear resolution for treating both long-term cases of the illness and shorter depressive periods. For those currently engaged in regular physical activity, he advises they should maintain or increase their engagement levels, and those who are sedentary should try to begin a program. The overall health benefits – which include weight loss, improved cardiovascular function, and reduced blood pressure among others – move well beyond the physical and into the mental realms for much of the population.
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