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Exercise Fights Depression as Well as Therapy, Study Finds

Millions of people struggle with depression, and lots of those take medicine or talk to a therapist for treatment.


But did you know physical exercise is just as effective, according to research?


“Exercise is an effective treatment for depression, with walking or jogging, yoga, and strength training more effective than other exercises, particularly when intense,” the authors write in The BMJ. “These forms of exercise could be considered alongside psychotherapy and antidepressants as core treatments for depression."


Exercise may be an effective complement or alternative to drugs and psychotherapy.”


Depression is a leading cause of disability around the world, the authors write. It lowers life satisfaction more than debt, divorce and diabetes, and worsens comorbidities such as heart disease, anxiety and cancer.


The researchers analyzed data from 218 studies on depression and exercise involving some 14,000 people.


Previous studies have come to similar conclusions: Exercise is effective against depression. Experts say it should be considered in treatment, along with therapy and anti-depressants.


Don’t take your mental health for granted. If you’re having issues, talk to your doctor or counselor. Take this study as further proof of the powerful mind-body connection – and that physical exercise is always good for whatever ails you.


And remember to choose exercise that you enjoy. If it’s not fun, you’re less likely to stick with it and gain the most benefits. We are here to help.


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