Can sports and exercise help?
Sports and exercise can probably help to somewhat reduce the symptoms of depression. It's not clear whether particular forms of exercise are more suitable than others.
Depression can have any of a number of symptoms. The most common signs include feeling down for a long time, listlessness, not enjoying things, and generally not being interested in anything – even in hobbies and activities you used to enjoy. Various treatment options and support services are available for people who have depression. Psychotherapy and medication (antidepressants) form the foundation of the treatment of depression.
People who have depression often don't feel like doing anything, and end up not getting much physical exercise. Exercise and sports – like Nordic walking, jogging, cycling, swimming or hiking – are commonly recommended to relieve or prevent depression. Many people who manage to do sports in addition to having other treatments – despite having depression – say that it feels good to be able to do something to fight their depression themselves. Sports give them the opportunity to be active and to meet other people. It is also thought that doing sports has a positive effect on the brain’s metabolism, and therefore on the depression itself too.