It is proven that men who do not exercise definitely have an increase in high blood pressure, weight gain, depression, and generalized risk of overall poor physical and mental health.
Getting regular exercise may boost more than just your endorphin levels. A new study, published in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings earlier this month, found that men with mental-health issues who were in better cardio respiratory shape had a lower risk of death than those who were less fit.
Researchers looked at a group of 5,240 middle-aged men who had reported emotional distress, including depression, anxiety, thoughts of suicide and a history of receiving counseling. The men ran on a treadmill to measure cardio respiratory fitness, or CRF, and were then grouped into three categories — those with low, moderate and high CRF.
Physical and mental health are invariably linked — and improving one can help the other.
After roughly 8 years, researchers found that the men with higher CRF had a lower risk of dying of any cause, regardless of other mortality predictors. Men in the lowest fitness group were more likely to have higher blood pressure, weight, cholesterol and blood sugar levels and were also more likely to report more than one mental-health issue.
While the medical industry has made strides in treating mental health conditions, lead study author Mei Sui tells The Post that the “prevalence of mental health issues is growing in the US and also globally,” and that “medication to treat these mental problems is not only expensive, but also comes with significant side effects.”
The lesson, says Sui, is that physical and mental health are invariably linked — and improving one can help the other. “Patients should make physical activity [a] daily habit,” says Sui. “They don’t need to run a marathon, but accumulate at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity . . . to avoid being in the lowest-fit category.”
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