A study of 8,000 people in the U.S. showed regular exercise largely decreased depression, but does this mean depression cuts down exercise or exercise cuts down depression? Could mean depressed people simply feel too lousy to get out of bed.
In a study of depressed men and women over 50, a group exercised for 16 weeks or took a anti-depressant called Zoloft. After 16 weeks, the drugs group and exercise group both had the same effects. Study concluded that exercise could be a healthy, inexpensive and easy way to treat depression. However, the exercise group attended 3 supervised sessions per week for 16 weeks. It could have been the social interaction, not the exercise, that was the real benefit.
In a separate, largest exercise study conducted, including adults of all ages, showed the effects of a supervised/social exercise group, a home exercise group and medicine group on depression. At the end of the study, all three methods worked just as well in decreasing depression. Results show exercise is just as effective as anti-depressants in treating people with major depressive disorders.
Watch video of sourced information below, from (NutritionFacts.org).