An observational study recently showed that the association between heart disease and depression can be lessened or eliminated with regular physical activity.
Those associations were consistent when adjusting for a number of variables, including weight, age, and some cardiovascular risk factors.
What kinds of physical activity may help ease depression and cardiovascular risk?
The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans describes the major research findings on the health benefits of physical activity:
- Regular physical activity reduces the risk of many adverse health outcomes.
- Some physical activity is better than none.
- For most health outcomes, additional benefits occur as the amount of physical activity increases through higher intensity, greater frequency, and/or longer duration.
- Most health benefits occur with at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) a week of moderate intensity physical activity, such as brisk walking. Additional benefits occur with more physical activity.
- Both aerobic (endurance) and muscle-strengthening (resistance) physical activity are beneficial.
- Health benefits occur for children and adolescents, young and middle-aged adults, older adults, and those in every studied racial and ethnic group.
- The health benefits of physical activity occur for people with disabilities.
- The benefits of physical activity far outweigh the possibility of adverse outcomes.