A new study of nearly 18,000 participants found that those with high fitness at middle age were significantly less likely to die from heart disease in later life, even if they were diagnosed with depression.
Doctor’s Tips: How to Stay Fit While Treating Depression
Dr. Madhukar Trivedi cites previous research showing that depressed patients can often perform about three-fourths of the exercise they’re asked to do. He recommends patients take several steps to boost their chances of success:
Set aside a consistent time to exercise every day, but do not get discouraged by stretches of inactivity. Resume activities as soon as possible.
Keep a log to track progress.
Vary the exercises to avoid monotony. Keep the workout interesting and fun.
Exercise with a friend.
Task someone with holding you accountable for maintaining the exercise regimen.
The study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Psychiatry utilized a Cooper Institute database of participants who had their cardiorespiratory fitness measured at an average age of 50 years. Researchers used Medicare administrative data to establish correlations between the participants’ fitness at midlife to rates of depression and heart disease in older age. Among the findings, participants with high fitness were 56 percent less likely to eventually die from heart disease following a depression diagnosis.
The warm ups are supposed to increase body temperature and blood flow so the muscles and surrounding joints become more responsive and prepared for physical activity. Although there’s a neurological element to warm-ups, most research focuses on the physiological aspects of preparing the body for a match or workout.
Keep in mind that different athletes and different sports have different demands. A gymnast doesn’t warm up the same way as a track athlete. A soccer player’s warm-up will be different from a football player’s pre-game routine. Understanding the demands of a particular sport is an important step in designing an effective warm-up.
What most teams haven’t picked up on, however, is that warm-ups, which normally last 20 to 30 minutes, can be just as effective in about half that amount of time. In fact, some research has shown that lengthy warm-ups can be detrimental to performance. In three of the studies reviewed, jumping, sprinting and agility performance after a 20-minute warm-up lagged behind the performance markers obtained after a 12-minute, small-sided game. Another study noted that a 23-minute warm-up performed by a professional team resulted in a four to six percent decrease in explosive tasks, compared to pre-game activities that took less time. This suggests there’s a fine line between getting the body primed for a match and going into the game already feeling fatigued.