Exercise and meditation help beat depression

February, 2016

A small study involving 22 students with depression and 30 mentally healthy students had positive results from a program that combines mental training through meditation and physical training through aerobic exercise. After eight weeks, those with depression showed a nearly 40% reduction in depressive symptoms, and said they did not spend as much time worrying about negative situations taking place in their lives as they did before the study began. There were also changes in brain activity that may reflect better cognitive control.

Interestingly, those in the control group also reported fewer depressive symptoms.

The program involved two sessions a week, with each one having 30 minutes of focused attention meditation followed by 30 minutes of aerobic exercise. They were told that if their thoughts drifted to the past or the future they should refocus on their breathing - enabling those with depression to accept moment-to-moment changes in attention.

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-02/ru-eam021016.php

Alderman, B. L., Olson, R. L., Brush, C. J., & Shors, T. J. (2016). MAP training: combining meditation and aerobic exercise reduces depression and rumination while enhancing synchronized brain activity. Transl Psychiatry, 6, e726. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/tp.2015.225

Related News

A six-month pilot study involving 101 healthy older adults (65+), who were randomly put into one of three exercise interventions or a no-change control, has found that the exercise groups all showed significant improvement in visual-spatial processing and attention, with more improvement in visu

A six-week study involving 619 cancer patients has found that those who took part in a simple home-based exercise program significantly reduced their cognitive impairment ('chemo-brain').

A review and a large study have recently added to the growing evidence that type 2 diabetes is not only a risk factor for Alzheimer's, but is also linked to poorer cognitive function and faster age-related cognitive decline.

Three recent studies point to the importance of cardiorespiratory fitness for older adults wanting to prevent cognitive decline.

Several recent studies add to the evidence that physical fitness boosts cognitive processing in children.

A new review from The Cochrane Library, based on six trials involving 289 people, has concluded that exercise can improve cognition and the ability of older people with dementia to carry out daily activities, such as walking short distances or getting up from a chair.

There are five healthy behaviors that appear to significantly reduce the risk of dementia,

A pilot study involving 17 older adults with mild cognitive impairment and 18 controls (aged 60-88; average age 78) has found that a 12-week exercise program significantly improved performance on a semantic memory task, and also significantly improved brain efficiency, for both groups.

Data from 1.1 million young Swedish men (conscription information taken at age 18) has shown that those with poorer cardiovascular fitness were 2.5 times more likely to develop early-onset dementia later in life and 3.5 times more likely to develop mild cognitive impairment, while those with a l

A study involving 97 healthy older adults (65-89) has found that those with the “Alzheimer’s gene” (APOe4) who didn’t engage in much physical activity showed a decrease in hippocampal volume (3%) over 18 months.

Pages

Subscribe to Latest newsSubscribe to Latest newsSubscribe to Latest health newsSubscribe to Latest news