Exercise and Illness: These sports help with depression and pain

Movement against disease: better than drugs? These sports help with depression, pain and headaches

Sport is good for much more than burning calories. If you exercise regularly, you are doing something good for your whole body. Many sports can even help against diseases – sometimes better than medicine.

Whether you suffer from a migraine, suffer from back pain or depression: In many cases, sports can help. In various studies, scientists have determined how certain sports help against diseases. In one case, they noticed even better results from exercise than from medication.

Team sports against depression

Sport has a positive effect on the psyche. Yale and Oxford researchers showed this in a large-scale study. They analyzed data from more than 1.2 million Americans and observed how exercise affected their mental health. They found that people who exercised regularly felt better. This was especially true for team sports. But the researchers also noted positive effects of cycling, aerobics and gym activities.

But be careful: More exercise does not always mean a better mood. The researchers saw the greatest effects with 45 minutes of physical activity three to five days a week. However, they associated more than three hours of training with poorer mental health compared to no training.

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Stay young by cycling: only three quarters of an hour is enough

If you cycle regularly, you are doing something to prevent the aging of your cells. According to US researchers, only three short interval units a week help slow down cell aging. 16 minutes of high-intensity cycling per. unit is sufficient for this.

The researchers explained the cessation of cell aging by saying that exercise maximizes the ability of mitochondria to breathe at the cellular level. They found that decreased mitochondrial respiration, on the other hand, increased a person’s fragility.

Endurance training for headaches

Anyone who suffers from pain in the forehead and temples should try endurance sports. In a small study, the researchers determined how the frequency and intensity of migraines changed. Study participants trained endurance three times a week for 45 minutes each time. The training consisted of cycling, cross-trainer training and brisk walking.

The participants who completed the endurance training had no less migraine than the control group. But not only did the physical condition and activity improve, the study participants also coped with migraines better in everyday life. In addition, the intensity of headaches and neck pain decreased.

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Strength training for back pain

Whether it is from sitting too much or bad posture – many suffer from chronic back pain. Strength training can be used to counteract this. It supports and stabilizes the muscles and thus ensures a better posture.

Strength training also protects postmenopausal women from osteoporosis and broken bones. It states a study conducted by US researchers. The researchers found that women with strong back muscles had less than half as many vertebral fractures as untrained women.

recovery after stroke

Even after a stroke, sports can do wonders. This was found by an international team of researchers from the London School of Economics and Harvard Medical School. They evaluated about 300 studies from a total of about 340,000 patients. They compared the impact of physical activity compared to taking medication. Overall, they found that individuals in the rehabilitation period after a stroke benefited greatly from exercise.

In several cases, they achieved better results with regular exercise than with medication. The German Stroke Fund recommends sports such as gymnastics, athletics or swimming. These help to strengthen endurance, coordination, agility and strength and to stabilize the psyche.

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