exercise, shmexercise

should I not lace up tomorrow?

I mentioned an BBC news article last week that reported on a study that showed that exercise reduces depression risk. Not that this article, among many others, is the only reason why I re-committed to working out, but those studies certainly motivated me to get moving more. Well, apparently, how much I move doesn’t really matter in terms of depression. As reported on Reuters, a new study in Journal of Clinical Psychiatry showed that exercise “appears to have little long-term impact on depression.” The analysis looked at 13 studies, including a study of 700 patients, some of whom were randomly assigned to an exercise regimen in order to relieve their depression. Overall, “the effect on depression is at best small, if any,” noted the study author.

I’m not necessarily arguing with the study (because they probably ran a meta-analysis of past studies), but if other studies show that physical health affects one’s mental health, where does exercise fit in? The results almost does a disservice to the depression community. It needs as many motivating factors as possible in order to fight this illness, and the study does nothing to help that. And while it’s not the study’s responsibility to suggest other ideas that can relieve one from depression, it offers no possible solutions.

I guess it’s partly our own responsibility to find the solution for ourselves, and not just leave it up to the pharmaceutical companies or researchers. Sure, this study tempts me to not get down to that treadmill tomorrow, but at the same time I know this is just a single study. And it doesn’t change the fact that exercise is good for our whole being.

So, exercise may not keep me from being depressed, but it would feel good if I could get back to fitting into my cute pair of jeans.

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One Comment to “exercise, shmexercise”

  1. I believe firmly in exercising for tons of reasons. In my case, mainly, mood, fitness, and help with chronic pain (my migraines). Yet, I don’t exercise. Just how would I if I can’t motivate myself (it’s not in my head) or am having a migraine. It’s a conundrum.

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