This sites intended use it not for self-treatment of depression. If you or someone you know is depressed you should seek help from a health care professional.
Several studies have examined the efficacy of exercise to reduce symptoms of depression, and the overwhelming majority of these studies show that there is a positive benefit with exercise (Craft and Perna 2004).
One example, 30 community-dwelling moderately depressed men and women were randomly assigned to an exercise intervention group, a social support group, or to a wait-list control group. The exercise intervention program consisted of walking 20 to 40 minutes, 3 times per week for 6 weeks.
The authors conclusion was that the exercise program alleviated overall symptoms of depression and was more effective than the other 2 groups in reducing somatic symptoms of depression (reduction of 2.4 [walking] vs. 0.9 [social support] and 0.4 [control] on the Beck Depression Inventory [BDI], p < .05). Doyne et al.
Eighteen utilized a multiple baseline design to evaluate the effectiveness of interval training in alleviating symptoms of depression. The participants exercised on a stationary cycle equipped with an ergometer, 4 times per week, 30 minutes per session for 6 weeks.
Studies also have shown that the benefits of exercise involvement may be long lasting. Depressed adults who took part in a fitness program displayed significantly greater improvements in depression, anxiety, and self-concept than those in a control group after 12 weeks of training (BDI reduction of 5.1 [fitness program] vs. 0.9 [control], p < .001). The exercise participants also maintained many of these gains through the 12-month follow-up period
The younger, the better. Studies show that lower levels of physical activity starting younger in life (
It is said that the hardest thing about exercise is getting started. People exercise for various physical reasons; to improve muscle mass, lose weight, improve performance in sports and medical reasons. It is proven that it helps mental health, sleep and cognitive functions (Sattler, Erickson et al. 2011).
The saying, “Do it whether you like it or not,” does not seem to work in this scenario. The one doing the exercise needs to have the desire as well for the exercise.
Jacka, F. N., J. A. Pasco, et al. (2011). “Lower levels of physical activity in childhood associated with adult depression.” Journal of science and medicine in sport / Sports Medicine Australia 14(3): 222-226.
Sattler, C., K. I. Erickson, et al. (2011). “Physical Fitness as a Protective Factor for Cognitive Impairment in a Prospective Population-Based Study in Germany.” Journal of Alzheimer’s disease : JAD.