There is now evidence that the dose of exercise impacts the effect on patients when it's prescribed for treatment of depression, whether it is in conjunction with medication, or instead of. In a Psychology Today article called "Dose Matters: Exercise as an antidepressant" it was found that the groups in the study who did exercise alone, or exercise with medication, had lower relapse rates than the group who had medication alone. Even when drugs are used or needed to treat depression, the effects are longer lasting with exercise. The amount, frequency, and intensity of the exercise makes a difference. "The magic numbers equate to 3-5 days/week of rigorous exercise for 45-60 minutes (e.g. jogging or biking, or using a treadmill or stationary bike)—similar to current public health recommendations."
It was also found that, as for "the benefits of morning bright-light exposure on mood and sleep quality, that an outdoor workout in the morning will augment exercise’s effect even further."
Hmmm. Outdoor morning workout, of rigorous exercise for 60 minutes, multiple times a week? Sounds like Outdoor Fitness Challenge (a.k.a. boot camp) to me. No wonder I am happier in the summer!
And here I thought it was all the beer-on-patios, backyard barbeque sunny days.
Turns out, tires and sledgehammers are good for much more than just building muscle.
They're the best way to fight off depression.