Exercise Serves as a Mood Booster for Chronically Ill

Researchers are now making a link between regular workouts and brighter moods among people suffering from heart disease, back pain, cancer, and other chronic health issues. While around one in every six people show exercise-induced mood improvement, it is definitely something worth considering.


Medical professionals have long known that exercise can help alleviate depression. Now, they are seeing that physical activity can also provide similar benefits for people with chronic pain or illness. This is an important finding because feelings of depression can make people skip doses of medication, can lower their quality of life, and can lead to an increased need for health services.

When the combined results of 90 studies including physical activity for patients with chronic health problems were analyzed, depressive symptoms decreased by around 22% in those who exercised three times a week. In addition, evidence showed that at least 75 minutes of vigorous activity helped the most of all.


There are some drawbacks to this research, however. First, many people with chronic illnesses are unable to work out regularly, and many people dropped out of the studies completely. There are also some questions as to which types of exercise provide the most benefit, how much exercise is needed, and how long the mood benefits will last.

As such, researchers believe that people who feel depressed due to chronic disease will gain the most benefit from eating a healthy diet, exercising within the guidelines of a physician, and indulging themselves in health pleasures to add to their overall quality of life.

While regular exercise is not a miracle cure for chronically ill people who feel depressed, it is definitely an important part of a complete health care program. As long as patients do not exercise beyond their physical limits, there are nothing but benefits to be had.