Even Moderate Exercise Can Stave Off Depression

There’s a bunch of scientific evidence that already proves the benefits of exercise for one’s mental health, and now we know that even moderate workouts can have a huge impact. Even walking for just 20-30 minutes a day can improve resilience to depression!

So if you don’t want to go to the gym or lace up for a run then don’t – just go for a short walk.

This is the first longitudinal review to focus exclusively on the role that exercise plays in maintaining good mental health and preventing the onset of depression later in life.

Mammen—who is supervised by Professor Guy Faulkner, a co-author of the review— analyzed over 26 years’ worth of research findings to discover that even low levels of physical activity (walking and gardening for 20-30 minutes a day) can ward off depression in people of all age groups.

Mammen’s findings come at a time when mental health experts want to expand their approach beyond treating depression with costly prescription medication. “We need a prevention strategy now more than ever,” he says. “Our health system is taxed. We need to shift focus and look for ways to fend off depression from the start.”

More from UofT and here’s the full report in a medical journal.