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Stopping exercise can increase depression

Do you get depro if you stop lifting weights?

According to the latest mental health research from the University of Adelaide in Australia adequate physical activity and exercise are important for both physical and mental health and stopping your weightlifting routine could result in an increase of depressive symptoms.

“In some cases, ceasing exercise induced significant increases in depressive symptoms after just three days,” says Professor Bernhard Baune, the head of psychiatry at the University of Adelaide and senior author on the paper.

“Other studies showed that people’s depressive symptoms increased after the first one or two weeks, which is still quite soon after stopping their exercise.”

The latest public health guidelines recommend being active on most if not all days of the week. At least 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise a week is recommended to maintain health and prevent depression, or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity exercise for added health benefits.

Baune and colleagues reviewed the results of earlier studies that examined the effects of stopping exercise in regularly active adults. Their analysis was published in the Journal of Affective Disorders. The research team reviewed studies that probed the cessation of exercise in 152 adults who exercised for at least 30 minutes, three times a week for a minimum of three months.

According to Baune there is a lack of research to help scientists to better understand the way in which stopping exercise can cause depressive symptoms in people. “For now, it is important that people understand the potential impact on their mental well-being when they suddenly cease regular exercise,” he says.

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