Perhaps the phrase jumping for joy means more than we thought...
New research has found that regular exercise may work as well as medication in improving symptoms of major depression. Not only does exercise affect some key chemicals of the nervous system (norepinephrine and serotonin) that are targets of antidepressant drugs, but exercise may also boost people's feelings of self-efficacy and promote positive thinking. Some experts also speculate that group exercise may have even more added benefits.
Doctors may not start widely prescribing exercise as a depression treatment just yet. However, for patients who are motivated, exercise could be a great option to start on their own.
For those not depressed, per se, exercise is still a great way to boost your mood even if you've just had a bad day.