Physical activity delivers tons of health advantages. These include weight management, improved cardiovascular health, and better brain health among other things. Exercise is also applauded as a way to reduce your risk of developing neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease.
On top of all of this, physical activity is credited for improving energy levels and mood. Physical activity encourages the secretion of the happy hormone or serotonin, which elevates your mood. Plus, it carries more blood and with it oxygen to various parts of the body. This boosts energy.
Recent research adds to this further. It finds out that physical activity can also improve the mood and energy markers of people with bipolar disorder and depressive symptoms.
The Mind-boggling Mental Health Statistics
Approximately 3% of adults in the United States have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder in the past year. At the same time, roughly 4.4% of the adults suffer from bipolar disorder at some point in their lives.
The rates that give a scoop into the prevalence of depression are even more shocking. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention finds out that about 8% of the US population above the age of 20 are depressed.
On a global note, 300 million people live with depression according to the findings of the World Health Organization (WHO). The WHO also describes depression as the “leading cause of disability worldwide.”
Research Reveals That Physical Activity Can Help
A new study led by the team of Vadim Zipunnikov, Ph.D. and his colleagues says that physical activity is valuable for boosting the mood and energy levels of those with depressive symptoms. The findings learn that this is particularly truthful in the case of individuals with bipolar disorder.
The researchers asked 242 participants between the age range of 15-84 to wear tracking devices to monitor their physical activity. They were also asked to keep electronic diaries of their energy and mood for 2 weeks.
The participants used that diary four times a day to record their perceived energy and mood. They used a seven-point scale to find if they were “very tired” at one end or “very energetic” at the other extreme end. The same scale determined their mood, ranging between “very happy” to “very sad.”
These four times when mood and energy were recorded was set at four points through the day. These included one each in the morning, lunch, dinner, and bedtime.
The investigators noted that, on the whole, the higher physical activity at one of these points related to better mood and enhanced energy levels on all other points. These benefits showed the most in a subgroup of 54 participants who had bipolar disorder.
In A Nutshell
In sum, the study confirms that physical activity helps improve energy and mood of individuals. So, if you are having a particularly sad day, you can always go for a short walk or hit the gym to boost your mood and energy. Plus, physical activity can help people with bipolar disorder as well.