Depression is a significant health issue for several different reasons.
Now here’s some good news: A study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry suggests physical activity, particularly early in life, may help reduce the risk of depression later. Specifically, the study found that “lower cardiovascular fitness at age 18 was associated with increased risk of serious depression in adulthood.” Study participants were followed for up to 40 years, strengthening the study’s finding that early cardiovascular fitness can have a long-term impact on depression risk throughout adulthood.
Physical activity has also been associated with a reduced risk of depression in general because exercise encourages the production / release of endorphins, the body’s “feel good” chemicals, while reducing production of cortisol and other “stress” hormones.
Remember, it’s never too early – or too late – to start exercising. Your body and mind will thank you for it.