Self Help Exercise For Depression

On this blog I advocate taking action.

There are many reasons for this.

However if you have been given the label “Depression” there is one type of action that has been fairly well proven to be helpful for you.

Physical exercise.

Let me give you a recent study as an example.

A study reported in Psychosomatic Medicine in September 2007 assessed 202 people who were diagnosed with mild to moderate depression. They were randomly split into different treatment groups.

After 4 months the group that were given an inactive sugar pill to take (ie a placebo) had a 31% recovery rate.

The group that had been given an antidepressant, in this case sertraline (Zoloft), had a 47% recovery rate.

However the group that had been walking or jogging on a treadmill for 30 minutes, followed by 5 minutes of stretching each day, had an almost identical recovery rate as if they had taken an antidepressant.

The group that exercised on their own had a 40% recovery rate, and if they had exercised in a group, they had a 45% recovery.

Don’t want to take an antidepressant?

For mild or moderate depression at least, the self help option of physical exercise will do just as well.

Even more importantly I recommend this “treatment” even if you don’t have a medical label.

This is one instance where a treatment for a mental illness is worthwhile even when you are not “ill”.

-Dr Martin Russell

3 thoughts on “Self Help Exercise For Depression”

  1. Pingback:   Eight for 2008 by Health Tips
  2. Strange as it sounds, isn’t this one of the key learning points in the Reese Witherspoon movie Legally Blonde? Something about being able to release endorphins when exercising? I also heard that it can boost a person’s happiness and can keep him or her from being depressed.

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