The healing power of exercise has long been known, but new research suggests that it may be even more effective than previously understood. According to researchers at the University of South Australia, physical activity holds profound effects for managing depression and supporting mental health.
Read on to learn more about what this new groundbreaking research has shown and how this emerging understanding of exercise and mental health could revolutionize the way we approach holistic and sustainable approaches to supporting mental health.
Understanding The Research
Researchers at the University of South Australia have found that “physical activity is 1.5 times more effective than counseling or the leading medications.” They found that physical activity is profoundly beneficial for improving symptoms of distress, depression, and anxiety.
They also found that exercise interventions that were 12 weeks or shorter happened to be the most effective when it came to reducing mental health symptoms. This new research highlights just how quickly exercise can make a difference when it comes to mental health.
When it comes to the best type of exercise for mental health, this new research showed that higher-intensity exercise was most beneficial for anxiety and depression. It also showed that longer durations had less effect than short and mid-duration bursts of physical activity. However, all types of exercise were found to be beneficial.
These findings are highly encouraging, demonstrating that it doesn’t take hours at the gym to make a difference. Short, high-intensity workouts are extremely beneficial for supporting mental health!
What We Can Learn From This New Research
Knowing that significant mental health improvements can be seen with little time and in just 12 short weeks is incredible and gives us yet another reason to add physical activity into our daily lives. And, with millions of people worldwide dealing with a mental health condition, this is valuable information that can make a difference for both physical and mental health.
The researchers at the University of South Australia are now calling for exercise to be used as a “mainstay approach for managing depression.”
Prioritizing Exercise For Mental Health
The bottom line is that the research around the benefits of physical activity for mental health is continuing to grow, highlighting just how much exercise can do for us both physically and mentally.
Regular physical activity should be prioritized and incorporated into any healthy lifestyle, as the benefits are just too powerful to ignore. If you’re ready to start your own fitness journey, get started with FitOn today. With thousands of workouts and meditations, you’ll find classes you can take no matter how much time you have.
*Always speak with your doctor about specific questions related to your individual health needs and to come up with an individualized plan to address any specific concerns related to your physical or mental health.