Washington D.C. [USA], Mar 23 (ANI): Symptoms of depression escalate quickly when exercise is stopped suddenly, finds a study.
PhD student Julie Morgan from the University of Adelaide's Discipline of Psychiatry has reviewed the results of earlier studies that examined the effects of stopping exercise in regularly active adults.
"Adequate physical activity and exercise are important for both physical and mental health," says Morgan.
"Current public health guidelines recommend being active on most if not all days of the week. At least 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise a week is recommended to maintain health and prevent depression, or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity exercise for added health benefits.
"An extensive body of clinical evidence shows that regular exercise can reduce and treat depression. However, there is limited research into what happens with depressive symptoms when exercise is stopped," she says.
"In some cases, ceasing this amount of exercise induced significant increases in depressive symptoms after just three days," says Professor Bernhard Baune, Head of Psychiatry at the University of Adelaide and senior author on the paper.
"This suggests some kind of novel effect in these cases, although we should add some caution here, as the number of people included in the studies we examined was small. Such findings would need to be replicated in additional trials," he says.
"For now, it is important that people understand the potential impact on their mental well-being when they suddenly cease regular exercise," he says.
The results are published in the Journal of Affective Disorders. (ANI)