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February 2011
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The Great Outdoors

By Rick Nauert PhD Senior News Editor
Reviewed by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on February 18, 2011


For years, health professionals have advocated lifestyle changes in the form of diet, exercise and stress reduction to lower the risk of heart disease, diabetes and other chronic illnesses.


New research shows that lifestyle changes — such as getting more exercise, spending more time in nature or helping others — can be as effective as drugs or counseling for many mental health concerns.


A wide range of mental health conditions, including depression and anxiety, can be treated with certain lifestyle changes as successfully as diseases such as diabetes and obesity, according to Roger Walsh, M.D., PhD., of the University of California, Irvine’s College of Medicine.


Walsh reviewed research on the effects of what he calls “therapeutic lifestyle changes,” or TLCs, including exercise, nutrition and diet, relationships, recreation, relaxation and stress management, religious or spiritual involvement, spending time in nature, and service to others.


Walsh reviewed research on TLCs’ effectiveness and advantages, as well as the psychological costs of spending too much time in front of the TV or computer screen, not getting outdoors enough, and becoming socially isolated.


Read in Full:

http://psychcentral.com/news/2011/02/18/lifestyle-changes-as-treatment-for-mental-health-concerns-depression-anxiety/23670.html



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