Volume 3 Issue 3

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 25 of 57

Psychologist Jasper Smith is working on an unorthodox treatment for anxiety and mood disorders. e treatment is free and has no side effects. What is it? Exercise. Research has shown again and again that patients who follow aerobic exercise regimens see improvement in their depression – improvements comparable to that of those treated with medication. Exercise not only relieves depressive symptoms but also appears to prevent them from recurring. According to Time Magazine: "Molecular biologists and neurologists have begun to show that exercise may alter brain chemistry in much the same way that antidepressant drugs do – regulating the key neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine." Studies on exercise as a treatment for depression are showing that there is a strong correlation between improved mood and aerobic capacity. So there's a growing acceptance that the mind-body connection is very real, and that maintaining good physical health can significantly lower your risk of suffering from depressive symptoms and even developing depression in the first place. Regular, appropriately intense exercise is a must for most people suffering from depression, and unlike the other common treatment, antidepressants, will not cause any negative side effects. Since no one is going to be making tens of billions of dollars encouraging you to exercise, it has not received the amount of funding for studies that anti- depressant drugs have received. However, when the studies are performed, exercise continually comes out on top, demonstrating benefits above and beyond what anti-depressant drugs can achieve. Exercise for Depression: What does the Research Say? Increasing evidence is showing that exercise leads to improvements in depression that rival or surpass those from antidepressant drugs. One study conducted by Duke University in the late 1990's divided depressed patients into three treatment groups: As Time magazine reported, neuroscience professor Philip Holmes and colleagues from the University of Georgia have found that exercise regulates serotonin and norepinephrine, two key neurotransmitters in your brain. And in just a few weeks, exercise "switches on" genes that increase your brain levels of galanin, a neurotransmitter that helps lessen your body's stress response. Time magazine stated: "The result is that exercise primes the brain to show less stress in response to new stimuli … A little bit of mental strain and excess stimulation from exercise, in other words, may help us to keep day-to-day problems in perspective." Is Exercise the Best Drug for Depression? Page 26 | Abby's Magazine -

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Abby's - Volume 3 Issue 3