Exercise found to improve video game performance
Studies show that physical activity has benefits for the brain, too. Learning a new skill or Zumba step might help keep you mentally sharp and may help prevent depression, leading to a win-win situation. Depression itself can have a negative effect on heart health, particularly for patients with existing heart disease.
In terms of variety, "there is good data that many different types of exercise can be beneficial in preventing depression," explains John Torous, MD, Director of the Division of Digital Psychiatry at BIDMC, citing recent studies published in The Lancet Psychiatry and JAMA Psychiatry.
Torous shared how this work is helping patients in his practice. "In our digital psychiatry clinic at BIDMC, we utilize data from the fitness tracking features on peoples' smartphones and wearables to have data-informed discussions with patients about exercise during their visits. By tracking exercise and mental health symptoms like mood and anxiety via an app -we can partner with patients to understand how physical activity can help in their treatment." Understand outcomes
While mixing up your workout routine can have many benefits, there is still a lot more to learn about how the body responds to exercise. Robbins is researching why different people respond to the same exercise program in sometimes vastly different ways by studying genes, proteins, and molecules. "We can now measure thousands of molecules that circulate in the blood before and after a person exercises," he explains. Through these analyses, Robbins and his research collaborators hope to identify specific chemicals or 'biomarkers' that help predict who benefits most from a given exercise program, and better understand how exercise mediates its exercise-induced health benefits. "The ultimate goal – and we are not there yet – is to use these technologies to help guide people to the right exercise program so that they can achieve their specific health goal or improve an individual health condition." Source:
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