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There is some agreement among researchers and doctors that aerobic activity is the most effective exercise for reducing symptoms of depression.
The current consensus is that 30 minutes of aerobic exercise 5-7 days each week is enough to boost our supply of happy endorphins and neurotransmitters.
Keep in mind that aerobic exercise does not need to be intense to be effective. Any activity that bumps up our heart rate, such as vacuuming or cleaning out the garage, can help. Fast walking, running, biking, swimming, and skating are likely more aerobically efficient, but you can definitely work up a sweat pushing a vacuum.
Little depression research has been done using exercises such as Tai chi, qigong, or yoga (which might be why aerobic exercise seems to be the best; it is the type usually used in studies). There is much anecdotal evidence that these less aerobic activities are effective in reducing symptoms of depression, and some yoga classes are strenuous enough to be considered aerobic.
Sources: Mayo Clinic, U.S. News Health
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