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In a recent study presented at the American Heart Association meeting in Chicago, Il., exercising at home may help improve the mental state of heart patients. Currently, many heart disease patients experience feelings of pessimism and depression, and even turn to unhealthy habits to deal with these emotions.
The study, which tracked the treatment and mental health of 300 people with heart disease, compared those that exercised regularly with those that did not. At the beginning of the study, approximately 30% of the patients had feelings of hopelessness, both long and short term. These study participants were tracked for the period of 1 year.
The study found that:
- Exercise at home at least three days a week showed a 12% reduction in feelings of hopelessness.
- Exercise in a hospital setting had no effect on these feelings.
Researchers believe that the patients who exercised at home felt better due to a feeling of control over their health. This is assumed because the hopelessness felt by many of these individuals is a helplessness, loss of control and pessimism about the future.
Heart patients are typically encouraged to adopt healthier lifestyles, but this study indicates that the more responsibility the patient assumes, the better the likely outcome.