Staying fit can help you feel good in many ways.

Can a workout really improve your state of mind?

Previously on this blog, we discussed a potential benefit of a daily stroll – namely a reduced risk of developing breast cancer. Now, a review from the University of Toronto has shed light on yet another reason to make time for a bit of moderate exercise each day.

According to reports, researchers have analyzed more than 25 years of data to determine if changes in our day-to-day behavior can influence our likelihood to suffer from depression. Why? Because currently, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and prevention estimate that up to one in 10 American adults have struggled with this psychological disorder – or are continuing to battle it – and the physical, emotional and fiscal costs are starting to take their toll.

"We need a prevention strategy now more than ever. Our health system is taxed. We need to shift focus and look for ways to fend off depression from the start," said George Mammen, a PhD candidate at the University of Toronto who has spearheaded the new review.

Mammen and his colleagues have found a strong relationship between exercising for 20 to 30 minutes a day and enjoying a reduced risk of depression. Mammen notes that there are myriad other factors that influence this ailment, but these findings are still worth taking into account. 

Women who have suffered from depression know full well that this disorder can affect your life in countless ways, robbing you of the pleasure you once took from your favorite activities and even dulling your desire for sexual intimacy. But, by engaging in mood-boosting activities, you may just find yourself feeling more upbeat than ever – ready and willing to explore and experiment personally and professionally. Who knows, you may even feel bold enough to finally try that arousal gel you've been eyeing. 

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