Get on the move to lift mood and prevent depression

Moving your body is one of the best ways to lift your mood and prevent depression. New research by the Black Dog Institute of Sydney shows that  as a little as 1 hour per week of exercise can prevent depression.

Researchers monitored 33,908 Norwegian adults over 11 years. Those who did no exercise at all had a 44 per cent increased chance of developing depression, compared with those who were active for just one to two hours a week. According to the study, 12 per cent of cases of depression could have been prevented if participants undertook just a single hour of exercise. Unfortunately it had no impact on whether people developed anxiety.

If you’ve worked with me in my clinic you may have been recommended exercise. It’s something I encourage most clients to do if they are not already. I encourage small amounts of movement daily for those who don’t exercise at all and to build it up from there.

Many studies have shown positive benefits such as increased positive feelings from boosted feel good brain chemicals endorphins and dopamine, and increased serotonin and norepinephrine from as a little as 7 minutes a day of exercise.  Australian life increasingly involves long periods of sitting  as jobs move from physical jobs to desk based jobs and we fall in love with screens. Most of us will need to add exercise into our day. 7 minutes is something we can all find.

Here are some ideas for your 7 minutes of movement a day

  • walking
  • cycling
  • yoga
  • gardening
  • strenuous housework
  • aerobic exercise to music on an exercise mat
  • swimming
  • cycling
  • dancing
  • hiking
  • gym equipment
  • skipping
  • playing running games with your children

There are many more ideas that could go on this list. Get creative and get moving today. For more on the study go to Black Dog Institue News

About Nadene van der Linden

Nadene van der Linden is a clinical psychologist in private practice. She is the author of Tales from the parenting trenches. A clinical psychologist vs motherhood and Live life to the full. Your guide to feeling better sooner.
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