Monday, December 21, 2020

The Connection between Exercise, Depression, and Anxiety

Mark Hirschhorn functions as the president, COO, and CFO of telehealth therapy company Talkspace. Outside of work, Mark Hirschhorn enjoys keeping active by running, cycling, and playing tennis. Regular exercise has a number of mental health benefits, including alleviating the symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Multiple studies have shown that regular exercise is as effective as antidepressant medications at treating mild to moderate depression. A recent study completed at Harvard University showed that running for 15 minutes or walking for an hour each day reduced the risk of major depressive disorder by more than 25 percent. Exercise promotes neural growth and releases endorphins, which can function as a sort of natural antidepressant.

These qualities also make exercise a good option for treating anxiety. Exercise can relieve tension and reduce stress while boosting overall energy. To treat anxiety, exercise is especially helpful when practiced mindfully. Paying attention to how your body feels during exercise interrupts the flow of worries that is characteristic of anxiety.