Can walking, yoga treat depression?

Depression affects almost everyone in today's age

By Web Desk
May 14, 2024
Depression may be reduced by walking, yoga. — Unsplash/File

Exercise is an effective therapy which can aid in treating depression, as per a new analysis of more than 200 studies.

The research, which was published in The BMJ, discovered that walking, jogging, yoga, and strength training are beneficial in reducing depressive symptoms, considering that the workouts are more intense


"We found that exercise leads to reduced depression at levels comparable with gold-standard treatments like cognitive-behavior therapy," Michael Noetel, PhD, lead study author and a senior lecturer in psychology at the University of Queensland, Australia, told Health.

"We can be confident there’s a causal effect here."

Examining the relationship between depression and exercise, researchers analysed data from 218 studies which included more than 14,000 participants.

The exercise types, that were studied, comprised walking, jogging, yoga, strength training, tai chi, and qigong.

Exercise releases the mood regulators dopamine and serotonin, Ulrick Vieux, DO, a sports psychiatrist at Hackensack University Medical Center, told Health.

"Low levels of serotonin, for instance, have been linked to...depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and phobias," he said. "[But] exercise raises serotonin levels."

Disclaimer: This may not work for everyone. Consult your doctor before trying this out.