Personal trainers Ashley Burow, Sami Fisher and Angelina Barth on the beach at Margate. Picture: John Gass/AAP
Personal trainers Ashley Burow, Sami Fisher and Angelina Barth on the beach at Margate. Picture: John Gass/AAP

How 15 minutes of exercise can beat blues

DOING just 15 minutes of vigorous exercise a day may be enough to substantially cut a person's risk of developing depression, a new study involving Queensland researchers suggests.

International researchers analysed data from more than 300,000 people, taking into account genetics and other factors, to determine the role of exercise in warding off depression.

Researchers from the ­University of Queensland, QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, Queensland University of Technology and the Children's Health Queensland Hospital and Health Service were involved in the study.

Sydney researcher Joseph Firth said the study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, said it provided the "strongest evidence to date" for using exercise as a potential strategy to reduce depression risk.

Personal trainers Angelina Barth, Ashley Burow and Sami Fisher on the beach at Margate. Picture: John Gass/AAP
Personal trainers Angelina Barth, Ashley Burow and Sami Fisher on the beach at Margate. Picture: John Gass/AAP

"The compelling data indicates that replacing sedentary behaviour with even just 15 minutes of vigorous activity per day can substantially reduce depression risk," Dr Firth, a senior research fellow at the NICM Health Research Institute, said.

"These findings could ultimately inform new public health schemes, which use physical activity and exercise to not only reduce the risk of physical health problems, such as diabetes and obesity, but also to combat the mental health epidemic."

Personal trainer and co-founder of The Active Sisters Angelina Barth said that exercise can have a phenomenal effect on those with depression, after experiencing it first-hand.

"Ten years ago, I suffered the Black Dog badly - my ­general practitioner recommended taking antidepressants. However, I chose another route," she said.

"It started with making the conscious decision to want to feel better.

"One particular client changed myself as a trainer - her goal was to come off antidepressants as she wanted to try for a baby. She learnt to believe in herself and I was the voice to teach her that she could do it. Time and time again she challenged her mind and self-belief was created."



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