New Evidence Reveals That Exercise Is A Powerful Treatment For Depression

Running is something that I find enjoyable. When I took the time to think about why I liked running, I came up with a list of reasons. Accomplishing a goal, the possibility for improvement, and realizing that you can do more than you thought possible. Running became somewhat of a healthful addiction.

It’s not news that running is healthy; many of the general health benefits from consistent exercise are clear to patients and doctors alike. But the benefits of recommending exercise to prevent or act as therapy for depression and anxiety hadn’t been thoroughly researched until recent years. Now, researchers are examining in detail the unique mental benefits of exercise.

Exercise largely ignored by psychiatrists for patient care

Last week was the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) Conference. Highlighted at the conference was research that determined that only around 20% of patients undergoing treatment for depression were given information on the benefits of exercise to manage depression.

Reasons given by psychiatrists for the lack of discussion surrounding exercise were:

  • Exercise may be a less effective treatment in comparison to face-to-face therapy, medication treatment, and social support.

  • More serious cases of depression called for more direct treatments.

  • The psychiatrists themselves did not personally practice regular exercise.

A powerful treatment for depression

New research is being shared with members of the psychiatry community on the effectiveness of exercise as a treatment for depression and anxiety. Overall positive changes i