exercise and depression research

In some grocery stores and other outlets, there is a magazine sold called Scientific American Mind.

In the current issue, there is an article on the relationship between exercise and depression.

At any given time, it is alleged that 18 million people in America “have” “major depression.”

In one study, those with “depression” were divided up into 4 groups of various possible treatments to be used. Those who engaged in supervised exercise classes had a remission rate of 45% and those who took medication had a remission rate of 47%.

If a person is relating his exercise to “depression,” and if he is able to do a higher intensity rather than low or moderate intensity, then, those who do higher intensity exercise lessen the severity of their “depression” significantly in comparison to those who do low intensity exercise.

Exercise and medications alter the brain chemistry and many of the changes are overlapping or identical.

On average, active persons have nearly 1/2 the risk of depression compared with inactive persons. How much of that reduced risk of “depression” is due to the activity we do not know, because correlation is not always causation.

Enjoyment of the exercise and being able to choose the type and intensity are important factors in the success of being able to exercise. Also, strangely, being able to choose the intensity of walking on a treadmill in depressed persons, rather than the intensity pre-selected, reduced levels of “depression” in a group of patients.

So . . . exercise is nearly identical in its anti-depressant effects as pills . . . and the people who did these studies and reported them did not include effects of art appreciation as a anti-depressant “therapy.”

Being evangelical or of certain religious denominations is a risk factor for depression. The question is whether or not “evangelical” views of exercise and art cause, in whole or in part, the higher tendency to depression.

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