One question that has been asked frequently regarding the research on exercise as a form of treatment for depression, is, "Of all the various forms of exercise, what type is most effective"?
Is it running? Biking? Walking? Weight lifting? Crossfit?
While all of the above can certainly have a significant impact on an individual's mental health (particularly running, in my humble opinion!), recent research shows that one form of exercise may, in fact, have an edge on all others as a form of treatment for depression. And that form of exercise is...TEAM SPORTS!
When you play basketball, or soccer, or ultimate Frisbee, while you still trigger the release of important neurotransmitters in the same manner as when you, say, run or lift weights, you also get the benefit of socialization with the other members on your team. This is particularly important as people who are struggling with depression tend to become more socially isolated and withdrawn.
To read more on the research, click Here.
If you live in the Greater Grand Rapids area, and are interested in joining a team sport, below are a few local organizations that can help get you going! Just click on the name to be take to their website.
Grand Rapids Sport and Social Club
Grand Rapids YMCA
Grand Rapids Rec Sports
Good luck, and happy sporting!