Is exercise an effective “antidepressant?”

Exercise may sometimes be a better anti-depressant than medication. In a study conducted at Duke University Medical Center (reported in April 2001), moderate exercise three times a day for ten months was compared to the use of the anti-depressant Zoloft. The exercise group experienced an 8% relapse into depression compared to 38% of those taking Zoloft. Also, the amount of exercise was proportional to the decrease in depression.

If you are taking medication for depression, it is very important to consult your physician before decreasing or discontinuing its use. Adding exercise to your routine can help support you in managing depression.