In addition to general health benefits, numerous studies have shown that physical activity has particularly interesting effects to combat anxiety and depression:
- increased self-esteem;
- improved perception of social image;
- improved mood;
- stress and anxiety reduction;
- maintaining social relationships.
regular physical activity helps prevent relapse of depression.
There are scientific explanations for these benefits:
- release of endorphins – the hormones responsible for regulating emotions and mood;
- increased brain chemical neurotransmitters that help reduce depressive symptoms;
- inhibition of excessive neural activity that can occur in the prefrontal regions and amygdala, causing an antidepressant and anxiolytic effect.
Recommendations for maintaining good health for 18-64 year olds (World Health Organization):
- 2.5 hours per week of moderate intensity endurance activity or 75 minutes of sustained intensity endurance activity or an equivalent combination of moderate and sustained intensity activity.
- Practicing endurance activity in periods of at least 10 minutes.
- To achieve additional health benefits, increase the duration of moderate intensity endurance activity to 5 hours per weekor 2 and a half hours per week of sustained intensity endurance activity or an equivalent combination of moderate and sustained intensity activity.
- strengthening exercises at least two days per week.
The elderly with reduced mobility should engage in physical activity to improve balance and prevent falls at least three days a week.
When older people are unable to engage in the recommended amount of physical activity due to their health condition, they should be as physically active as their abilities and condition allow.