Study Finds That Exercise May Reduce Symptoms of Depression

April 6, 2022 13:46:54

New studies have found that exercising for 30 minutes may boost the benefits of therapy and decrease symptoms of depression for at least an hour and 15 minutes post workout. The studies were carried out by Iowa State University researchers, led by Professor Jacob Myer, who was also the lead author. The objective of the research was to find out how exercising influenced the symptoms of depression.

For their first study, the researchers recruited 30 adults who experienced major depressive episodes. Each participant was required to fill out surveys, which included the scales used to measure a number of cognitive tasks and symptoms of depression as well as standard questions. The participants filled out these surveys before, during and after a half-hour session of either sitting or moderate-intensity cycling and then again 25, 50 and 75 minutes post workout.

Using the data they gathered, the researchers tracked the changes in some characteristics of major depressive disorder, including reduced cognitive function, difficulty experiencing pleasure from previously enjoyable activities (anhedonia) and depressed mood state. They discovered that the depressed mood state of participants as well as anhedonia improved during the cycling exercise, noting that this was better than the levels of anhedonia of the participants who didn’t exercise.

The researchers then carried out another pilot study, which involved some of the participants exercising on their own either through walking, jogging or cycling for a half hour before they signed into their weekly virtual cognitive behavioral therapy session. Their exercise data was collected using Fitbit, with the researchers finding that the participants who exercised before their therapy sessions showed more improvements in the reduction of their depression symptoms.

The researchers also discovered that those who exercised before their therapy sessions had stronger and quicker connections with their therapists, which suggests that exercise may prime the brain to engage with work that may be more emotionally challenging. The researchers noted that these results demonstrated that exercise could help heighten the benefits of therapy for adults suffering from depression.

Meyer, who is a professor of kinesiology at the institution, stated that despite the small study population, the research had provided promising results on how exercise had some effect on depression. The researchers hope to conduct more research on the subject in the future in an effort to better understand how exercise can be used to help individuals suffering from chronic depression or be integrated into an effective treatment.

In the not-so-distant future, people diagnosed with depression could also benefit from the therapeutic effects of psychedelics, including psilocybin, if the R&D work being conducted by companies such as Cybin Inc. (NYSE American: CYBN) (NEO: CYBN) bears fruit and receives regulatory approval.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Cybin Inc. (NEO: CYBN) (NYSE American: CYBN) are available in the company’s newsroom at

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