It is well known that people who engage in regular physical activity show a lower risk of suffering from depression. On the other hand, higher levels of depression can lead to less physical activity. So what is the best way to motivate people to exercise more? A new study shows that self-determination and knowing why you care are the most important factors in persuading people to exercise regularly.
The study involved 17,500 elderly people and focused in on the participant in regards to physical activity and depression. Looking at how “physical activity affects future depression… and how change in physical activity is associated with change in depression over time”. But a more important question surfaced during the study, what motivated the elderly people to be physically active. Knowing your motivation and why you care helps you stick with long-term regular physical activity. Which improves chances of maintaining both physical and mental health in the long run.
Exercise and physical activity can be a powerful preventative measure against disorders like depression. But you must find the best motivation for you, in order to be consistent with your physical activity.