An Hour of Exercise May Keep Depression at Bay; Try these Herbs Too!

Health experts have always talked about the importance of exercise or physical activity in our daily lives. It keeps us fit and active but also helps in warding off various ailments. According to a study, published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, just an hour of exercise a week can help ward off depression.

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An Hour of Exercise May Keep Depression at Bay; Try these Herbs Too!

Highlights

  1. Health experts have always talked about the importance of exercise
  2. It keeps us fit and active and also helps in warding off various ailments
  3. Just an hour of exercise a week can help ward off depression
Health experts have always talked about the importance of exercise or physical activity in our daily lives. It not only keeps us fit and active but also helps in warding off various ailments. According to a study, published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, just an hour of exercise a week can help ward off depression. The international study by Australia's Black Dog Institute has found that even minor lifestyle changes may result in significant mental health benefits. It suggested that 12 percent of depression cases could have been prevented with a small amount of regular exercise.

Researchers monitored the exercise habits and symptoms of both depression and anxiety among 33,908 Norwegian adults over 11 years. People who did not exercise at all had 44 percent increased chances of developing depression, while those who were physically active for even one or two hours a week had lesser chances. "We've known for some time that exercise has a role to play in treating symptoms of depression," says Associate Professor Samuel Harvey from Black Dog Institute and the University of NSW.

"But this is the first time we have been able to quantify the preventative potential of physical activity in terms of reducing future levels of depression." Although, it has been found out that exercise may help keep depression at bay, however, they still need to figure out the protective effects of exercise on depression.

Apart from physical activity, these natural herbs may help curb the symptoms of depression.

1. Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha is believed to relieve stress and anxiety due to presence of active compounds including steroidal lactones, saponins, alkaloids and withanolides that provide antidepressant, anti-inflammatory and anti-anxiety properties.

2. Brahmi

Brahmi has an age old reputation of curbing stress. It acts as adaptogen that simply means that it helps body adapt to new or stressful situations. It is believed to increase the serotonin levels in the brain that help the mind keep calm and further give relief from anxiety and nervousness.

3. Peppermint

Peppermint or pudina has menthol present in it that helps calm the frazzled nerves and has a cooling effect on mind. It is also loaded with vitamin A and C, minerals including magnesium, manganese, calcium, iron and potassium among others.

4. Jatamansi

Jatamansi is known to have anti-depressant, anti-stress and anti-fatigue properties. The roots of jatamansi are used for medicinal purposes in Ayurveda which are known to have a therapeutic effect on mood swings and anxiety.


 

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