Exercise your way out of depression and anxiety

Lots of people are suffering from depression right now – but instead of reaching for an antidepressant drug, they could get as much benefit from exercising, say researchers. Exercise is a ‘magic drug’ to combat depression and anxiety, and it’s something that can work for everyone. Traditional therapies such as prescription drugs and CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) don’t work for everyone, say researchers from Boston University. After looking at dozens of studies, the researchers discovered that exercise affects areas of the brain that can counter depression and anxiety. Optimum exercise time is 150 minutes a week of moderate activity, or 75 minutes a week of vigorous exercise. But, say the researchers, you’ll start feeling the benefits after just 25 minutes of exercise, and your mood starts improving, and you’ll start feeling less stressed. (Source: Annual conference of the Anxiety Disorder Association of America, March 6, 2010).