A new study has discovered that meditation and aerobic exercise together reduce depression.
The Rutgers University study found that this mind and body combination, done twice a week for only two months, reduced the symptoms for a group of students by 40 percent.
Researchers believe the study shows that an individual, personal intervention can relieve depression at any time and for no cost.
The study has been published in the journal Translational Psychiatry.
“We are excited by the findings because we saw such a meaningful improvement in both clinically depressed and non-depressed students,” said lead author Dr. Brandon Alderman, assistant professor in the Department of Exercise Science and Sport Studies.
“It is the first time that both of these two behavioral therapies have been looked at together for dealing with depression.”
Researchers believe the two activities have a synergistic effect in combating depression.
Alderman and Dr. Tracey Shors, professor in the Department of Psychology and Center for Collaborative Neuroscience, discovered that a combination of mental and physical training (MAP) enabled students with major depressive disorder not to let problems or negative thoughts overwhelm them.
“Scientists have known for a while that both of these activities alone can help with depression,” said Shors. “But this study suggests that when done together, there is a striking improvement in depressive symptoms along with increases in synchronized brain activity.”