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Exercise Helps the Mind

      Feeling blue? Doctors now are suggesting that an underused and inexpensive treatment appears to reduce depression and other mental disorders: exercise.
Exercise       A research team reviewed studies dating back to 1981 and found evidence pointing to exercise as effective in reducing symptoms of depression, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders and in some cases, alcohol dependence.

      Nonaerobic exercise, such as strength training, appears to be equally as effective as aerobic exercise in treating depression, according to the report in the June issue of Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, a journal published by the American Psychological Association.

      Researchers also found that less strenuous types of exercise such as walking also were effective in helping people with some types of mental illness, though they point out that more study is needed on this subject.
      Other researchers measured the anxiety levels in a group of college-age women and chose 14 who ranked the highest on the anxiety scale. The study was limited to women because they have the highest prevalence of anxiety.
      The women were placed on stationary bikes under four conditions: sitting on the bike without pedaling for 40 minutes; sitting on the bike without pedaling while studying for 40 minutes; riding the bike for 40 minutes and studying for half of that period; and exercising without studying for 20 minutes, then studying without exercising for another 20 minutes.
      Scientists found that studying while exercising did not have the same psychological benefits as exercising without studying.

- More articles on Exercise

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