According to researchers at the University of Texas Southwest Medical Center, aerobic exercise can have a positive effect on mild to moderate depression. Adults aged 20 to 45 who exercised aerobically for 30 minutes, three to five times each week reduced depressive symptoms by nearly 50%/. This result compares favorably to antidepressant medication or cognitive therapy. According to Dr. Madhukar Trivedi, director of UT Southwestern’s mood disorders research program, “The effect you find using aerobic exercise alone in treating clinical depression is similar to what you find with antidepressant medications. The key is the intensity of the exercise and continuing it for 30 to 35 minutes per day. It’s not for the faint of heart.”
We know that physical activity and joint movement can increase serotonin production. We also know that B vitamins and other nutrients are necessary to produce neurotransmitters like serotonin. It would be interesting to see a study that combines diet and exercise for treating depression.