University of Nottingham, UK
The presentation will outline some of the key proposed mechanisms through which exercise might alleviate depression through a cognitive-behavioural perspective. Parallels will be made with the mechanisms underpinning evidence-based cognitive and behavioural therapy approaches such as behavioural activation and activity scheduling. Additionally, the extent to which exercise has the ability to induce cognitive shift through engagement in a socially valued activity and emotional shift through engagement in activity that provides pleasure, mastery and connection with others, alongside interruption of rumination cycles will be outlined in detail. The impact of exercise on the physical symptoms of depression will also be discussed with a specific focus on the potential for improvement in sleep, appetite and energy levels that tend to occur when engaging in regular exercise.