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supervised exercise as adjunct to antidepressants


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http://www.healthcentral.com/depression/news-45070-66.html

Women on a *supervised* exercise regimen who were *also taking medication* improved more (on average) than women who were also taking medication but did not have the benefit of a supervised exercise regimen. Note "supervised" and "also taking medication"; they were not just told that if they exercised more they'd get better, but were actually provided with the support necessary to exercise. And they were not exercising-instead-of-taking-medication the way some well-meaning dumbasses tell depressed people to do. Supervised exercise was the supplement, not the treatment, and it helped.

I'm hoping there's a follow-up comparing people with supervised exercise regimens + medication to people with supervised exercise regimens without medication. The women in the study were ones who had failed to show improvement on medication for two months - so was it that (on average) the supervised exercise made it possible for the medication to work? Or was the supervised exercise (on average) doing what the medication wasn't?

My long-range pie-in-the-sky hope is that this takes off enough that eventually we'll have government and insurance-company support for supervised exercise programs as an adjunct to other treatments. Helping with depression and making the rest of you healthier too...curative and preventive treatment at the same time.

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What is meant by "supervised exercise programs" exactly? Taking group fitness classes like the people in the study? I guess they had "appointments" to exercise--wouldn't that be nice? My doctor keeps telling me to do cardio 5 to 6 times a week. Easier said than done. I've been exercising fairly consistently for five years now, and there's no way I'm hopping on a cardio machine 5 times a week. BORING. I would need something seriously novel to be able to do it 5-6 times weekly. I even have access to group fitness classes at the gym and I'm like "meh." I'm burnt out on those too. I do as much as I can force myself to do. If I had "appointments" to exercise I would definitely do it more.

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What is meant by "supervised exercise programs" exactly? Taking group fitness classes like the people in the study? I guess they had "appointments" to exercise--wouldn't that be nice? My doctor keeps telling me to do cardio 5 to 6 times a week. Easier said than done. I've been exercising fairly consistently for five years now, and there's no way I'm hopping on a cardio machine 5 times a week. BORING. I would need something seriously novel to be able to do it 5-6 times weekly. I even have access to group fitness classes at the gym and I'm like "meh." I'm burnt out on those too. I do as much as I can force myself to do. If I had "appointments" to exercise I would definitely do it more.

Have to admit I haven't been here in a long time. Also that I find it hard to fit in the exercise these last few weeks of looking for a place and moving. But I suppose moving all my stuff counts for something. And I do go for a walk at work when my back hurts.

Anyway, cardio doesn't have to be some dumb machine that doesn't move. Swimming, walking up a hill (preferably with a good view), bicycling, rowing, oh, and did I mention walking? If you play enough tennis, hard enough, that probably counts. If structure is what it takes, by all means do it. If I wasn't working I'd be out with a bike club several times a week. If you must use a machine, and you watch TV, commit to pedalling any time you're watching and get one of those underused exercise bikes everyone is always selling. (Recently bought one for $50 when my s.o. decided she wanted to try it. Mine turned over 17,000 miles on the odometer recently, though that's more a sign of age than commitment. It's summertime, I"m sure there's all sorts of group athletic things. Soccer or something? A friend of mine started, a year or two ago, to go running with a friend. I don't think either one of them liked it all that much, at least at first, but it was a commitment. She's no longer overweight, for the first time since I met her (about 1981), and I suspect the running has something to do with an improvment in her mood.

When I've been really depressed, exercise hasn't helped all that much, but 90% of the time it does.

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A friend of mine pointed me toward a free website with exercise program info. I provide it here with no warranty or guarantee or anything, just the advice to not do anything stupid and get yourself hurt. And if you have problems with hypomania or mania, be aware that hard exercise can cause problems that way. If you have problems with addiction, be aware that exercising hard and lots can become an addiction.

http://exrx.net/

Personally, I like walking a lot, since (for me) it will calm me down, and it doesn't trigger exercise asthma. Walking outside is easier for me because it's more interesting and because if I have to get someplace I mind walking less. I also do strength training and prefer to be supervised there because it's easier to hurt yourself doing that than walking. I stretch regularly, and have overstretched in the past which really sucks because then you can't stretch for a long time while it heals.

The best kind of exercise is something you'll actually do.

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