This Simple Task Helps Prevent Depression According To Recent Study

Happiness is a difficult thing to define. Sometimes we seek happiness in a fleeting sense, like a delicious piece of cake or a night out with friends. Most of the time, we seek happiness in a long-term sense, like being satisfied with our jobs, what we contribute to society, or building a family. However, sometimes try as we might to make ourselves happy, mental disorders like major depressive disorder cannot be escaped, especially if you’re a woman.

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One in ten Americans report having major depressive disorder (MDD), with it being twice as likely to occur in women than men. When in a depressive episode, it’s hard to pull yourself out of it, but once out of the episode most people want to focus on preventing a relapse. There is a glimmer of hope out there for those that suffer from MDD, according to some new studies that have been released.

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According to one study in Translational Psychiatry, adopting a minimal cardio routine and practicing light meditation on a daily basis can decrease one’s chance of depression as much as 40 percent. In support of this study, a new study to be released in Preventive Medicine suggests that people who do not regularly have cardiorespiratory exercise routines have a 75% higher risk of suffering from depression. Both studies suggest that the cardio workouts performed to stave off depression do not need to be of marathoner-intensity. Instead the exercise can be 30 minute workout sessions, “at at a heart rate intensity range determined by their individual baseline fitness assessment,” meaning within your own comfort zone, yet still challenging.

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The combination of meditation and cardio is referred to as MAP Training, which has been shown to trigger activity in the hippocampus of the brain. In contrast, studies of individuals with MDD have been shown to have reduced hippcampal volume. MAP Training stimulates the reduced hippocampus in the brains of those who have experiences MDD, therefore, theoretically reducing the risk of another MDD episode.

Luckily, if either cardio or meditation is something you really don’t think you can stomach, other studies have significantly shown that either one of these exercises alone can still help reduce chances of depression.