Evidence for Exercise as an Antidepressant

At last, research has yielded strong and reputable evidence that physical exercise both prevents the onset of depression, and reduces depressive symptoms.

Did ya hear that? Exercise fights depression! Science proves it!

(People knew exercise and mood were related. They just didn’t have strong research clarifying whether being depressed makes people exercise less than typical-mood people, or if a lack of movement was contributing to depressive episodes. Now we know: exercising actually prevents the onset of depression.

This article summarizes the findings in an accessible way (here’s the brief on the study itself).

Some of the key points in this work:

  • Just 15 minutes or so of light exercise can improve your mood.
  • Don’t wait till you feel like getting moving. Get yourself walking or biking or dancing or curling or whatever it is you can do, and you’ll get yourself feeling better.
  • Some kind of social exercise is even better than solo exercise. Hey, a great reason to sign up with your friend for some small group sessions.
Teamwork makes the dream (of depression-free motherhood) work

Photo by Luis Quintero