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12 April . 2019

How Sweetwater’s trails can make you happier

A new nationwide study of 600,000 adults has concluded that even a small amount of daily exercise, such as 15 minutes of jogging, can significantly improve your mood and lower your risk of depression.

The study, by Massachusetts General Hospital, assessed the genetic makeup, medical history and physical activity levels of more than 600,000 adults. The researchers concluded that participants who were genetically more likely to exercise may be less likely to develop depression.

While other studies have associated exercise with a lowered risk of depression, this study was significant in that it used genetics to randomize people, thereby showing direct causality. In other words, no matter who you are or what your genetic makeup, exercise can reduce your chance of developing depression.

The main takeaway is that it’s important to be active every day, whether it’s 15 minutes of jogging or an hour of gardening.

“Get outside and do something,” said Dr. David Agus, an author of the study. His rule of thumb is to raise your heart rate by 50 percent from where it was before you start an activity. If your heart rate starts at 60, he advises, get it to 90 for at least 15 minutes. The bottom line: just get out there and move.

At Sweetwater, it’s easy to enjoy exercise every day. The community devotes more than 700 acres, or about half of its overall master plan, to parks, trails, amenities and natural open spaces. Residents can enjoy miles of trails, rated from easy to difficult. They can swim and play basketball and field sports at the 10-acre Sweetwater Club. The fitness center at the Sweetwater Club offers state-of-the-art cardio and weight training equipment, along with classes.

Coming later in 2019, The Overlook Club at Sweetwater will offer swimming and socializing with a backdrop of stunning Hill Country views.

Learn more about Sweetwater’s fun and active lifestyle.