Depression and Exercise

WHAT CAUSES DEPRESSION?

While the exact cause of depression is unknown, a number of things can be associated with its development such as life events, changes in the brain, a family history of depression, serious illness or drug and alcohol use.

 

For full background information on depression and other mental health conditions please visit Beyond Blue or the Black Dog Institute.

 

If you would like to read more about our Mental Health Monsters campaign, please click here.

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WHAT TYPE OF EXERCISE IS EFFECTIVE IN TREATING MAJOR DEPRESSION?

Aerobic exercise and weight lifting have been shown to be effective in treating major depression. Studies show that about 60% of people halve their depression score by exercising and more than 40% stay that way for at least three months.

 

What type of exercises will be effective?

  • Moderate intensity aerobic exercise such as walking, running or cycling: 30 – 60 minutes per session at least three days per week.
  • High intensity resistance training: three sets of eight repetitions for 60 minutes at least three days each week.
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DOES EXERCISE HAVE AN ADDITIVE EFFECT WHEN COMBINED WITH MEDICATION?

Exercise has similar effects to medication but none of the side effects. Exercise can also counteract the side effects of some medications such as reducing the risk of falling by strengthening muscles and helping control body weight and blood pressure.

Exercise should be incorporated into any depression treatment plan.

 

How can an Accredited Exercise Physiologist help someone with depression?

By consulting an accredited exercise physiologist you will be working with someone who cares about your wellbeing, understands the challenges you face and who has the skills and knowledge to help you manage your condition.

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