Can you really exercise away anxiety and depression?

A look at whether exercise really can make a difference with anxiety and depression, or similar mental illness diagnoses that affect one in five Americans.

On the internet, there are endless lists of the things you can do to heal yourself of any ailment: from depressionto migraines, from anxiety to irritable bowel syndrome. Apparently you can cure anything simply chant positive mantras, drink enough water to become a camel, and practice yoga 24/7…maybe even shower while standing on one’s head.

The internet would like us to believe that this is particularly true when it comes to mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression. If I had a dime for every time I’ve heard “just do X to snap out of Y,” I’d be retired, sipping umbrella drinks in Tahiti.

 

That said, there has been more than anecdotal evidence that something as simple as regular exercise cure anxiety and depression. Some experts maintain that exercise holds the potential to ease the symptoms of many illnesses, including those of the mental variety. Let’s explore whether exercise really can make a difference with anxiety and depression, or similar mental illness diagnoses that affect one in five Americans.  more
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