12 August 2018 Blog Post: 10th year of practice
As I enter my 10th year of practice (how did that happen so fast?), I have heard myself say certain phrases as almost “stock answers” to common patient questions.
“Does this look infected?” (usually, yes).
“Do I need to finish all the antibiotics?” (If I’ve prescribed it, definitely, otherwise its viral and you don’t need antibiotics).
“Do I really need a colonoscopy?” (pretty much, yes).
But, in seriousness, patients will often ask me how often I think they should exercise. I will generally say “30-45 minutes of exercise that makes you sweat, 3-5 days a week.”
A recent study has shown that this standard phrase of mine is not only helpful for cardiovascular wellness but also for mental health. Researchers studied 1.2 million adults who completed a survey between 2011 and 2015. On average, participants had experienced an average of 3.4 days in the past month on which their mental health was “not good.”
Those who reported exercising in the past month had about 1.5 fewer poor-mental-health days per month than those who did not exercise. All types of exercise were associated with better mental health, but popular sports (mostly team sports), cycling, and aerobic/gym exercises conferred the greatest benefit.
And, here’s the kicker, exercising for 45 minutes per session, 3 to 5 times per week, was associated with the best mental health. Interestingly, a longer duration (e.g., 90 minutes per session) and greater frequencies (>5 times a week) were linked to worse mental health.
So go sweat! Its good for your (mental and physical) health.
𝗦𝗶𝗴𝗻 𝗨𝗽 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗢𝘂𝗿 𝗡𝗲𝘄𝘀𝗹𝗲𝘁𝘁𝗲𝗿
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