depression and exercise

exercise – it works for depression is the title of a post i wrote for brainblogger the other day. it is about a large-scale study, the SMILE study (standard medical intervention and long-term exercise, conducted at duke university), which found that vigorous exercise three times a week for half an hour or forty-five minutes reduced symptoms of depression as effectively as antidepressants. there is the beginning of an interesting discussion in the comments about how to discuss findings like with people who are in the midst of depression.

any thoughts on this?


  1. I think there is some merit to that theory. I know that when I have missed exercise during the week I start to feel down. But when I have exercised I am a lot healthier, alert and so forth. Exercise helps you get through the week. Gives you more energy and that sort of thing!
    .-= Kelly´s last blog ..Baby Nightlight And Soother Activated By Sound =-.

  2. I think endorphin affect of vigiorous exercise has been known for some time. For inidividuals with sub-clinical depression (someone with the blues) vigorious exercise would be a very good treatment, if the person were so inclined to partake. For a person with a serious clinical depression, exercise would probably be difficult to even think about let alone particiate in.

  3. The word “exercise” may make you think of running laps around the gym. But a wide range of activities that boost your activity level help you feel better. Certainly running, lifting weights, playing basketball and other fitness activities that get your heart pumping can help. But so can gardening, washing your car, or strolling around the block and other less intense activities. Anything that gets you off the couch and moving is exercise that can help improve your mood.

  4. certainly, using the word exercise in itself can be a bit of a turnoff. i have a friend who just uses the word “movement”, and that sounds much gentler, doesn’t it?

    when i had a particularly nasty depressive episode a few years ago, the highlight of my day was going outside to shovel snow. the simple physical movement, combined with the sight of the white snow, seemed to immediately smooth out some of the whacky neurons in my brain.

  5. I certainly agree to this idea/study, since I also have experienced this of some sort. Constant exercise did take away my attention from depressive situations that occurred to me at that moment, until I eventually moved on due to the immediate diversion of my attention.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.