Exercise Is Possibly As Effective As Therapy Or Medication For Treating Depression

The results of a UK study on depression and exercise show that it’s possible that exercise is as effective for treating depression as therapy or medication. The researchers caution, of course, that better studies need to be done to come to a conclusion.

But cool! Maybe that’s one of the reasons we get depressed in the winter (I was not going to the gym during the Endless Winter this year, that’s for damn sure). Medical News Today goes on to review the chemical reasons that exercise helps with depression: It increases our levels of a protein called PCG-1a1 that purges substances from the body that are harmful to our mental health, and also helps our enzymes to speed up the conversion of a stress-linked metabolite called kynurenine into kynurenic acid.

PHEW, that was a lot of science for me, personally. The bottom line is that having a habit of exercising — and specifically, having “well-trained muscles,” which are high in PCG-1a1 — appears to protect the body against depression, which, IMO, is probably the best reason to find some kind of exercise that you loooooove to do. [Medical News Today]