One in ten Americans take antidepressants. Two to three hours a week of exercise can replace pills for those mildly to moderately depressed and augment medication for those with severe depression. Here are some facts about exercise:
- Releases endorphins into the bloodstream that is a natural medication for depression.
- May also stimulate the neurotransmitter norepinephrine, which is what antidepressants do.
- Boosts self-esteem.
- A study of 45 stroke survivors with depression found that a 10-week strength training program helped reduce symptoms of depression.
- Boosting strength boosts your mood.
- Promotes a rhythm of breathing deeply in and out, which helps depression and anxiety.
Go for Walks Outside
- Sunshine stimulates serotonin levels, which combat depression.
- Gives you energy.
- Moves your thinking from yourself to the nature around you.