Research shows: running a better cure for depression than medication

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A study involving as many as 14,000 people found that running is a better remedy for depression than special-purpose medication. Researchers therefore recommend that doctors make regular exercise part of a recovery plan for people struggling with depression.

Not just running, because sports such as walking, yoga or strength training would also have a positive effect on mental health, according to the researchers – who thus studied 14,000 people from different countries – and thus could be a good alternative to in many cases heavy medication. Even a very light workout would already be a good cure for depressive symptoms. Compared to antidepressants, the effects of exercise would be ‘strikingly positive’.

Incidentally, the researchers do not say that medication should be stopped immediately. The same research shows that people taking antidepressants and exercising seemed to work even better.

The research can be found in The BMJ.