Combining meditation and aerobic exercise can reduce negative thinking in people with or without clinical depression. In a new, eight-week study, a group of students practiced mindfulness-style meditation twice weekly for 30 minutes, followed by 30 minutes of aerobic exercise. About half the students carried a diagnosis of clinical depression. The combination treatment reduced negative thinking and worrying in both groups by more than 40 percent. Participants also showed an increase in brain areas that govern planning, reasoning, and problem solving. Since both meditation and exercise have been shown to ease depression and improve focus, it’s no surprise that they can be effective together.
"We are excited by the findings because we saw such a meaningful improvement in both clinically depressed and non-depressed students.” Brandon Alderman, Assistant Professor, Rutgers