Exercise Doesn’t Influence Depressive Symptoms In Women, Study Finds

Exercise comes with several health benefits. Alas, most Americans don’t get the amount of exercise they should. Experts recommend getting two and a half hours of exercise per week. This doesn’t have to be high-intensity workouts. Walking, cycling, jogging, running are also enough for getting a good daily dose of physical activity.

Exercise doesn’t only improve physical fitness, but it also betters mental wellbeing. Past research suggests that exercise can improve symptoms of depression. This can be explained by the release of endorphins that exercise triggers. It improves one’s mood and takes down stress.

Exercise also shares a link with sleep. While working out right before bedtime doesn’t improve sleep but does quite the opposite, sleep is improved in the long run when one continues to exercise hours before bed on a regular basis. Likewise, sleep and depression are associated too.

However, a new research has found that exercise doesn’t do much for women when it comes to depression. While it does reduce depression symptoms in men, it doesn’t do so in women.

What Does This New Study Reveal?

A new study which has been carried out by scientists at the University of Michigan has come to the conclusion that exercise effects depression in men and women differently. The sleep as well as exercise patterns of 1100 people studying at the Beijing University in China were studied for the purpose of this research.

These participants were made to fill three questionnaires. One asked them about their depressive symptoms, the second one questioned about their sleep, and the third discussed about exercise. It was found that exercise only influenced males positively. Women didn’t experience any benefit from exercise despite its intensity.

This may be because most female participants didn’t get high-intensity exercise. This latest research work has been published in the Journal of American College Health. It has found that, contrary to what is believed, low to medium intensity working out doesn’t have any positive influence on women’s depressive symptoms.

This can be explained by the fact that more women are depressed than men. Perhaps their higher markers of depression keep them from feeling even motivated enough to exercise. These gender differences show that research needs to prioritize analyzing depression in women.

Key Takeaway

Depression, sleep, and exercise are all interlinked. While previous researches show that exercise can reduce depression in both the genders, a new research proves that it doesn’t. It has shown that while depressed men are positively impacted by exercise, women don’t experience any effects on their depressive symptoms through exercise.

This highlights that the impacts of exercise on men and women may be different and that more research should be poured at the link between exercise and depression in females they are more likely to experience depression than men.