Running and Antidepressants Show Parallel Benefits for Mental Wellbeing, Major Study Reveals

Running A Natural Antidepressant Alternative - Study Uncovers Surprising Mental Health Benefits

Subtle Signs You Should Be Getting More Sleep (Beyond Just Feeling Tired) Image by SERGEY FILIMONOV / Stocksy

It’s a well-known fact that exercise is a game-changer for our mental health. But have you ever wondered how it stacks up against other methods? Well, a fresh batch of research decided to pit exercise (specifically running) against antidepressants for depression and anxiety symptoms. And trust me, the findings are as exciting as finding a rare gem in a thrift store!

Running and antidepressants can both reduce depression by a whopping 44%. Yes, you read that right! A study in the Journal of Affective Disorders revealed that running therapy and antidepressants had similar effects on mental health. Can you imagine? It’s like having two superpowers fighting side by side to give you that much-needed boost!

In this study, 141 participants with depression or anxiety were given a choice—running or medication. And here’s the plot twist: 96 brave souls decided to lace up their sneakers and take on the great outdoors, while 45 opted for medication. Talk about a showdown between Mother Nature and little pills!

Now, I know what you’re thinking, the lack of randomization might make this study a tad biased. After all, those who chose medication might have been less likely to try running due to their depression severity. But hey, it does offer a scientifically-backed alternative for mental health professionals to suggest. Who needs a magic pill when you can have the wind in your hair and the pavement beneath your feet?

But wait, there’s more! Recent research has shown that some people are less responsive to antidepressants due to their genetic biotypes. So it’s high time we explore other effective treatment options. Running therapy might just be the secret weapon we’ve all been waiting for!

Now, don’t get me wrong, my fellow fitness enthusiasts. The running group did have a lower adherence rate compared to the antidepressant group. It seems that sticking to a running routine might be trickier than finding the perfect pair of heels that won’t hurt your feet. But fear not, because these runners also experienced improvements in waist circumference, weight, and cardiovascular function. So it’s not just about looking fabulous on the outside, but also feeling fantastic on the inside!

I must address the elephant in the room—this study only focused on running. But fear not, my yogis and walkers! Previous research studies have shown that activities like yoga and general physical activity can also work wonders for your mental health. Running might be the belle of the ball, but hey, there are plenty of fish in the sea of exercise options!

So, why does exercise, in any form, have such a positive impact on our mental health? Well, it’s like a magical potion that releases endorphins, increases oxygen to the brain, and changes our perception for the better. It’s basically a makeover for your mind! Plus, running outdoors offers the added bonus of connecting with nature. Talk about killing two birds with one fabulous running shoe!

Now, here’s a mind-blowing thought—running and antidepressants don’t have to be separate entities. They can join forces like Batman and Robin, working together to combat severe depression. So next time you visit your healthcare provider, don’t forget to mention that you’ve discovered a powerful duo worthy of your attention!

The Takeaway

We’ve got some exciting news for you! A recent study proved that antidepressants and running can both work wonders for depression. Plus, runners reap the rewards of improved physical health markers. So if you’re tempted to dip your toes into the running world but don’t know where to start, fear not! We’ve got a beginner’s guide ready and waiting just for you.

Related Read: Is The Runner’s High Real? A Doctor Explains The Benefits

Now, go forth, my fashion-forward fitness lovers, and conquer the world one fabulous stride at a time!