Sunday December 8, 2019

Exercising For Over 90 Minutes Daily can Worsen Mental Health

Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, and there is an urgent need to find ways to improve mental health through population health campaigns

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Exercise best defence against deep abdominal belly fat. Pixabay

Engaging in exercises such as cycling, aerobics and gymming for more than three hours a day can worsen mental health than not exercising at all, a study has found.

The study, published in journal The Lancet Psychiatry, found that people who exercised between three and five times a week had better mental health than people who exercised less or more each week.

Conversely, people doing extreme amounts of exercise might have obsessive characteristics which could place them at greater risk of poor mental health, the researchers said.

“Previously, people have believed that the more exercise you do, the better your mental health, but our study suggests that this is not the case,” said Adam Chekroud, Assistant Professor at Yale University in the US.

“Doing exercise more than 23 times a month, or exercising for longer than 90 minute sessions is associated with worse mental health,” he added.

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People who exercised between three and five times a week had better mental health than people who exercised less or more each week. Pixabay

Exercise reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, and mortality from all causes, but its association with mental health remains unclear.

For the study, the team used data from 1.2 million adults across all 50 US states and included all types of physical activity, ranging from childcare, housework, lawn-mowing and fishing to cycling, going to the gym, running and skiing.

Team sports, cycling, aerobics and going to the gym were associated with the biggest reductions — 22.3 per cent, 21.6 per cent, and 20.1 per cent, respectively.

Also Read: Exercise Could Reduce Irregular Heart Rate Risk in Obese People: Study

For people who had previously been diagnosed with depression, exercise was associated with 3.75 fewer days of poor mental health.

Even completing household chores was associated with reduction in poor mental health days of around 10 per cent, or around half a day less each month, the researchers said.

“Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, and there is an urgent need to find ways to improve mental health through population health campaigns,” Chekroud said. (IANS)

Next Story

Deep Sleep Can Reduce Higher Anxiety Levels

A Study strongly suggests that insufficient sleep amplifies levels of anxiety and, conversely, that deep sleep helps reduce such stress

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Deep Sleep had restored the brain's prefrontal mechanism that regulates our emotions, lowering emotional and physiological reactivity and preventing the escalation of anxiety. Pixabay

Researchers have found that the type of Sleep most apt to calm and reset the anxious brain is deep sleep, also known as non-rapid eye movement (NREM) slow-wave sleep, a state in which neural oscillations become highly synchronised, and heart rates and blood pressure drops.

A sleepless night can trigger up to a 30 per cent rise in anxiety levels, researchers from the University of California said.

“We have identified a new function of deep sleep, one that decreases anxiety overnight by reorganising connections in the brain,” said study senior author Professor Matthew Walker.

“Deep sleep seems to be a natural anxiolytic (anxiety inhibitor), so long as we get it each and every night,” Walker added.

“Our study strongly suggests that insufficient sleep amplifies levels of anxiety and, conversely, that deep sleep helps reduce such stress,” said study lead author Eti Ben Simon.

In a series of experiments using functional MRI and polysomnography, among other measures, researchers scanned the brains of 18 young adults as they viewed emotionally stirring video clips after a full night of sleep, and again after a sleepless night.

Anxiety levels were measured following each session via a questionnaire known as the state-trait anxiety inventory.

After a night of no sleep, brain scans showed a shutdown of the medial prefrontal cortex, which normally helps keep our anxiety in check, while the brain’s deeper emotional centres were overactive.

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Researchers have found that the type of Sleep most apt to calm and reset the anxious brain is Deep sleep, also known as non-rapid eye movement (NREM) slow-wave sleep, a state in which neural oscillations become highly synchronised, and heart rates and blood pressure drops. Pixabay

After a full night of sleep, during which participants’ brain waves were measured via electrodes placed on their heads, the results showed their anxiety levels declined significantly, especially for those who experienced more slow-wave NREM sleep.

“Deep sleep had restored the brain’s prefrontal mechanism that regulates our emotions, lowering emotional and physiological reactivity and preventing the escalation of anxiety,” Simon said.

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Beyond gauging the sleep-anxiety connection in the 18 original study participants, the researchers replicated the results in a study of another 30 participants.

Across all the participants, the results again showed that those who got more nighttime deep sleep experienced the lowest levels of anxiety the next day.  (IANS)