If you are stuck in a rut right now & feeling the blues of winter you likely have heard how exercise can boost your mood & decrease levels of depression. However, when your body is sore & you are feeling depressed, who actually feels like exercising? Personally, we’d much rather grab a bowl of macaroni & cheese & watch a Lifetime movie.
The good news is that although lots of studies may have shown that exercise can decrease depression, a new health survey done in Britain with 20,000 people, has revealed that it actually takes very little physical activity to lift your spirits. Just 1-3 twenty-minute sessions a week of activity reduced people’s suffering of depression.
In fact, they found that the biggest impact on one’s mood, came from doing anything — even mopping the floor — for at least 20 minutes a day. Mark Hamer, PhD of the University College of London, says “Daily activity knocks down the distress score by more than half.”
Though you may not want to run & grab a mop to chase those blues away, these findings are good to keep in mind when you are debating about whether you should go for that short walk, get up & play tennis with your Wii, or throw a ball with your dog for a few minutes. It’s encouraging to find that even minimal exercise in short intervals can significantly impact our mental health.