Inspiring Better Health

Doctors Might Prescribe Exercise for Depression

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Doctors Might Prescribe Exercise for Depression
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Should doctors prescribe exercise to treat depression? A new study published in the journal General Hospital Psychiatry suggests that they absolutely should! Over 80% of the 295 mental health patients interviewed said they wanted to exercise more, and believed that being physically active helps improve their mood and alleviate their anxiety. They were also interested in a discussion about exercise and wanted more advice from their health provider. Unfortunately, many of those surveyed weren’t getting the recommended guidelines to promote mental health, which are 30 minutes, five days a week. The authors of the study suggest that mental health treatments need to partner with fitness programs in order to support patients’ willingness to work out more. What might this look like? Training therapists to put together exercise plans for their patients, or integrating personal trainers into mental health clinics and creating partnerships between therapy and fitness centers, are just some of the ideas generated. It has long been known that exercising naturally boosts our mood; could this new approach see doctors prescribing aerobics classes over anti-depressants?

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