Although almost 19 million Americans are thought to suffer from depressive disorders. Researchers may have a way to help.
In a study, which involved 80 adults aged 20 to 45 years who were diagnosed with mild to moderate depression, researchers looked at exercise alone to treat the condition and found:
1. Depressive symptoms were cut almost in half in those individuals who participated in 30-minute aerobic exercise sessions, three to five times a week after 12 weeks.
2. Those who exercised with low-intensity for three and five days a week showed a 30 percent reduction in symptoms.
3. Participants who did stretching flexibility exercises 15 to 20 minutes three days a week averaged a 29 percent decline.
The results of this study are similar to that of other studies, which involved patients with mild or moderate depression being treated with antidepressants or cognitive therapy — proving patients need not rely on drugs to treat depression.
Source: American Journal of Preventive Medicine January 2005; 28(1): 1-8