This Washington Post article reviews a recent study in which depressed patients were randomized to either rest quietly for 30 minutes or to walk on a treadmill for 30 minutes at 60 to 70 percent of their maximum heart rate. The people who exercised reported higher scores of well-being afterwards.
This post-exercise sense of accomplishment and vigor is familiar to anyone who does cardiovascular exercise regularly. To put it simply, exercise feels good.
Cardiovascular exercise also has proven benefits in decreasing anxiety, reducing blood pressure, improving control of diabetes, and decreasing risk of stroke and heart attack. Weight-bearing exercise, like walking, also improves bone density. So get out there today and take a walk for 30 minutes, especially if you’re in a bad mood!