Depression is hugely prevalent in current society irrespective of country, religion,class and society. There are around 121 million people affected by depression worldwide. Several antidepressants drugs and behavioral therapy are available for its treatment. But the recent focus has been more on alternative therapies like exercise, which is shown to be beneficial in people with depression.
Exercise does not provide the best therapy to the person fulfilling the criteria of depression. But it can be recommended, given that it provides moderate effect in improving the depressive symptoms.A study in humans since 1981 has showed that regular exercise helps in improving the mood of people with mild to moderate depression. Improvement of mood is also quite useful in person with severe depression.
Comparing exercise with cognitive therapy or antidepressants, researches have not shown any significant difference between each mode of therapy in the depressive illness. But the effect of exercise is shown to last longer than the effect with antidepressants. In light of these findings, it seems exercise is of help. But the optimum type, frequency and duration of exercise, whether it should be performed supervised or unsupervised, indoors or outdoors, or in a group or alone is yet to be determined.
However some studies are published which have experimented several exercise regimen and are found useful. One of them is : For an average 68 kg person, some research has shown running 60 minutes a day for 3 days in a week or walking fast 35 minutes a day for 5 days in a week can improve the mild to moderate depressive symptoms.