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Exercise May Boost Mood for Chronically Ill

Posted Jan 03 2013 6:30am

Walking

A recent study shows that regular exercise may help fight depression, fatigue, and anxiety in patients with chronic illnesses such as cancer, COPD, heart disease, fibromyalgia, pain and obesity.

In the report, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, researchers believe that working out regularly may brighten the mood of people facing this kind of adversity. The results of the study meet The American Psychiatric Association guidelines, which recommend regular exercise against the blues. Researchers have combined 90 previous studies including more than 10,000 people with health problems like cancer, heart disease, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder. In each study, people were randomly chosen to exercise, on average three times a week over a period of 17 weeks.

The results shows that people’s depressive symptoms have dropped about 22 percent with exercise overall, and similar results were found to the effects on fatigue, anxiety, pain and other mental health outcomes. The type of the physical activity was classified as “moderate”, such as a moderate intensity 20-minutes walk.

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