When you are in the middle of depression, exercise may feel like the last thing on your mind you would want to do. But it can help a good bit.Dr. Trivedi Goes For A WalkDr. Trivedi, a professor of psychiatry, was repeatedly told by some of his patients suffering from serious depression, that whenever they had gone for a walk, they felt happier afterwards. Something the antidepressants many of these people already had been on for very long times didn't achieve.He wondered if there could be a connection between physical exercise and well-being and recruited 126 non-exercising people with depression for an experiment. Together with some colleagues, he divided them into two groups: The first was put on a light aerobic exercise routine for ten minutes per day, while the second did a similar task, just a tad more difficult and for 30 minutes.While still taking their medications, they were kept on this regime for four months. At the end, about 1/3 had achieved remission - a result equal to or better than the remission rates achieved using drugs alone.How Does Exercise Help Against Depression?The mechanisms are not yet totally clear, but there are strong indications that exercising does the following:
- It releases neurotransmitters and endorphins that enhance mood.
- It reduces the activity of other chemicals, that have been linked to depression.
- The increase of body temperature going together with exercise can help mood as well.
- Exercise can improve sleep, your body's and mind's most important regeneration phase.