Exercise your way to happiness

Exercise your way to happiness

Regular Exercise Can Beat the Blues, Even When Prescription Drugs Can”t


By Kathryn Hawkins

Gimundo Correspondent

Depression is a big deal. Up to 20 percent of the population will have a case of clinical depression at some point in their lives – if you haven”t dealt with it yourself, you probably know someone who has.

Most people take prescription medications like Prozac to push away the blues. But when the drugs don”t work, what can you do?

For a start, why not walk the dog, ride a bike, or swim a few laps at the local Y?

According to a recent study, regular exercise can significantly improve the outlook for individuals with depression, even when prescription medication’s proven ineffective.

In the study, numerous women were assigned to a twice-weekly fitness class over an 8-month period. Though all trial members took prescription drugs for their depression, it seems that the body’s natural endorphins are more effective than the work of any pharmacist: The regular exercisers in the group were in far better spirits than the couch potatoes at the study’s conclusion.

Whether or not you”re suffering from depression, it can”t hurt to get outside for a while. We”re not telling you to start training for a 10K or anything – but even if you”re already feeling good, you”ll be surprised how much a daily walk or run could lift your spirits.