While regular exercise may be as effective for mild or moderate depression as antidepressants, there is a big catch, one that triathlete Peatick has figured out: It has to be intense, for at least 30 minutes, according to Madhukar Trivedi, MD, professor of psychiatry and head of the Mood Disorders Research Program and Clinic at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. He has authored several studies that show regular exercise can reduce depressive symptomsin one case by up to 47%.
Exercise is good, but is it an antidepressant?
No one doubts that exercise is beneficial to general health and well-being, but Ken Robbins, MD, clinical
professor of psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, isn't convinced that it can help anyone with moderate or severe depression.