Exercise Fights Depression
A brisk 30-minute walk or jog three times a week may be just as effective in relieving major depression as are standard antidepressant drugs, researchers have found. In the study, 156 patients diagnosed with major depressive disorder (MDD) were assigned to three groups: exercise, medication, or a combination of medication and exercise. To the surprise of the researchers, after 16 weeks all three groups showed similar--and significant--improvement in measurements of depression. “One of the conclusions we can draw from this is that exercise may be just as effective as medication and may be a better alternative for certain patients," said psychologist and study leader James Blumenthal. The team published the results of its research, supported by the National Institutes of Health, in the October 25, 1999, issue of The Archives of Internal medicine.
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