Moderate Aerobic Exercise Can Produce Antidepressant Effects

Moderate Aerobic Exercise Can Produce Antidepressant Effects

If you suffer from depression and anxiety, exercise that gets your heart pumping several times a week may help to ease symptoms, according to new research.

Researchers conducted a meta-analysis of 11 studies covering 455 patients. The participants engaged in moderate aerobic exercise an average of 45 minutes, three times per week, for nine weeks. Results, published in the journal Depression and Anxiety, found that those who engaged in aerobic exercise experienced a “significantly large antidepressant effect.”

Results also showed that it didn’t really matter how the exercise was done – whether with equipment or not, and inside or outside. The researchers concluded that aerobic exercise is an “effective antidepressant intervention.”

The reason exercise may help to alleviate depression is that it leads to the release of endorphins, the so-called “feel-good chemicals,” in the brain and central nervous system. There is also evidence that regular exercise helps to improve brain function.

Other types of exercise have been shown to alleviate depression. Resistance training, such as using free weights or weight machines, significantly reduces depressive symptoms, according to a study published in JAMA Psychiatry earlier this year.


Jonathan Block

Jonathan Block

Jonathan Block is MedShadow's content editor. He has previously worked for Psychiatry Advisor, Modern Healthcare, Health Reform Week and The Pink Sheet.


Did you find this article helpful?


Latest News

Prenatal Opioid Exposure Can Harm Children and Teens

Prenatal Opioid Exposure Can Harm Children and Teens

Most infants born with Prenatal Opioid Exposure (POE) look and seem completely unaffected – even those that go through withdrawal. A new meta-analysis shows that brain development and motor skills in children exposed to opioids in pregnancy lag behind other children significantly.

Health News Scan: Healthcare Myths, Triclosan and more

Health News Scan: Healthcare Myths, Triclosan and more

Health can be a finicky subject. So many times healthcare just seems logical — of course, a stronger pain reliever will work better to stop pain… but that’s not true. Of course it’s a good idea to use antibacterial soap to kill more germs… but that’s not true.  And why…

  • Advertisement