Skip to main content

Walking away the blues

 
Walking on the treadmill

There is another reason why walking is good for us.

It can help women living with depression if it is done in conjunction with emotional and social support.

Nottingham University researchers recently unveiled a new exercise programme which involves group motivational support and a low effort walking plan.

The key to the new programme -- thanks to two years of study at the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Physiotherapy -- is ‘mentored’ exercise, say the researchers.

It hopes to help women who are living with depression, characterised by low levels of physical activity, increasing health and weight problems, low self-esteem and a lack of motivation.

Some 40 women with depression in the Nottingham area took part in the research, which entails a pragmatic randomised trial of a standard "exercise-as-usual" programme compared with the new, individually tailored and supported plan.

The women volunteers attended sessions at their local authority leisure centre three times a week for four weeks.

In each session the women received a half hour motivational coaching session conducted by a health psychologist, in a small friendly group, followed by an individually tailored exercise session on the treadmill in the gym, supervised by a sports therapist.

The women exercised alongside each other and, if they needed it, received additional emotional and social support for the duration of their session, though this was slowly reduced as confidence and support from peers within the group grew.

Women on the special programme saw a significant improvement in their mood, physical health, sense of well being, self-esteem and quality of life.

They felt that they had achieved these gains via a positive, comfortable and unintimidating experience which encouraged regular and continued attendance.

One volunteer said: “I feel more confident in my physical self and my emotional self. I do think it has helped with my mood.”

Women on the "exercise as usual" programme did not report any significant benefits, were less likely to continue attending and were markedly less enthusiastic.

Previous research by the team had found that standard GP-prescribed exercise, usually gym sessions, don’t work well for this group as they find them discouraging and lonely, with many dropping out very early on.

The research team’s aim was to come up with a new type of exercise plan that would support and motivate the women for the duration of the treatment.

Team lead researcher Professor Patrick Callaghan said: “Exercise tailored to preferred exertion levels, combined with support from others is a prescription designed to improve depressed women’s overall health and well being.”

The women who participated in this study are those commonly seen in GP surgeries up and down Britain.
The research was conducted by Professor Patrick Callaghan, Elizabeth Khalil and Ioannis Morres at the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Physiotherapy.

It was funded by the Burdett Trust for Nursing and has been adopted by East Midlands hub of the Mental Health Research Network, part of the National Institute for Health Research.
Source: University of Nottingham
For more on walking visit this blog.

Comments

A. Nymous said…
Is that you on the treadmill? Haha.
Faezah Ismail said…
No, it is not. I asked a friend to pose for me.

Popular Posts

When a card came out of the blue ...

This post is prompted by a remark made by my good friend Wei Lin. She saw me reading a card I had received from a friend recently and said: "Traditional cards are so old-fashioned."

I wondered if that was true and decided to probe into the issue. A Google search revealed numerous articles on the debate between traditional paper-based cards and e-cards. Tracey Grady's examination of the pros and cons of each type is informative.

In my opinion, e-cards are not substitutes for the real (traditional) ones and they shouldn't be. I treat e-card e-mails with suspicion because spammers could be using them to download viruses and software onto my computer.

I have never sent anyone an e-card and I don't plan to; I dislike the cold impersonality of conveying greetings electronically.

I have always liked sending and receiving cards the traditional way.

The ritual of going to a bookshop, browsing at the card section, picking a suitable one for the recipient and then walking to a p…

Sabah is Veena's paradise

Life is seriously good in Sabah, says Berita Harian Sabah bureau chief Veena Rusli.

"Every inch of Sabah is amazing. What is there to complain when you live, work and play in a holiday destination?" adds the bubbly Seremban-born, who has called Kota Kinabalu home for more than four years now.

Veena looks at Sabah, known as "the land below the wind", with the eye of a person who appreciates the simple things in life. Living in Kuala Lumpur for many years as a journalist had taken a heavy toll on her.

She extols the virtues of a stress-free life which she has found in Kota Kinabalu.

Unnecessary pressures such traffic jams and flash floods are minimal in Kota Kinabalu and these lessen the impact of  managing the worries of everyday life .

I met Veena in Kota Kinabalu recently. I was there to attend the RHB New Straits Times Spell-It-Right Challenge which took place at the Suria Sabah mall over the weekend of July 4-5.
I was struck by her bubbly nature. Her cheerful, frie…

Why Shamsul Amri dislikes Facebook

People who do not use Facebook fall into three broad categories.

The first group is completely indifferent to it, the second finds it mildly irritating and the third dislikes it intensely.

Malaysia's prominent sociologist Professor Shamsul Amri Baharuddin is of the last type.

I made the mistake of asking Shamsul, who is director of the Institute of Ethnic Studies at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, if he was on Facebook, the social network which was hatched up in the dormitories of Harvard six years ago.

"I have a face and I keep thousands of books. Why do I need Facebook?"

How do you react to that reply?

I didn't. I meekly invited him to elaborate on his reasons.

"Facebook will take away my soul and I won't allow that to happen because I am a believer," says Shamsul fiercely, who launched into a tirade of accusations against Facebook.

Ninety per cent of the things you read on Facebook are either petty, bitter, rude or offensive.

"I refuse to rea…