There is a large body of research suggesting the effectiveness of exercise on depression. Nanette Mutrie, a professor of physical activity for health, at the University of Edinburgh, has stated that exercise can have the same anti-depressant effect on depression as other therapies can. In addition, there is evidence to suggest that aerobic and resistance exercises can serve to support other forms of treatment from moderate to severe depression.
Exercise psychologists have suggested that to gain the benefits of exercise for depression, it should be enjoyed with others. For example, walking in a group or with one other person would be ideal. Additionally, studies have shown that when we connect with nature we experience a greater level of well-being than in a gym setting.
3. Exercise and Anxiety
There are two classifications of anxiety; state anxiety and trait anxiety. If one is anxious about speaking in front of her peers, she may be suffering from state anxiety over a specific event. Conversely, if a person is generally and chronically anxious, he may be experiencing more trait related anxiety. The good news is research has shown a decrease in both trait and state anxiety after exercise.
Interestingly, a single session of exercise can reduce state anxiety while habitual exercising over time can have similar effects on those dealing with trait anxiety. Either way, studies have shown that aerobic exercise, when compared with resistance and flexibility training, is more beneficial when applied to highly anxious people.