Health Tips > Prevention Plus > The All-Natural Remedy for Depression

The All-Natural Remedy for Depression

View All Section Pages

woman leading fitness class

Research shows that people who are physically fit are less depressed, have better self-image and have a longer life span. Individuals who struggle with depression but exercise regularly are also less likely to commit suicide or have heart disease. Dr. Kenneth H. Cooper, Cooper Aerobics Founder and Chairman, explains that exercise has also been scientifically proven to delay and prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s and dementia, which now stands as the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S. and continues to be a worldwide epidemic. 

“I am a firm believer that you can prolong the quality of life and reduce the cost of health care with a preventive medicine program,” says Dr. Cooper. “Lifestyle is the most underappreciated risk factor in the world. No drug can replicate the benefits of an active lifestyle.”

Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, John J. Ratey, MD, states in his book “Spark – The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain” that exercise research shows physical activity inspires lifelong changes that encourage the brain cells to bind to one another. By conducting a study on brain activity and circulation after 20 minutes of exercise, Ratey found that the part of the brain in children and adults that was most engaged was the part responsible for creativity and memory. 

Data found in the 2017 Montana Youth Risk Behavior Survey showed the positive effects of living an active lifestyle on depression also supports the concept that children make better grades and participate in fewer unhealthy behaviors that can serve as signs of depression. “Changing your lifestyle is your responsibility,” says Dr. Cooper. In the study, 5,000 Montana children in ninth to twelfth grade were surveyed in various categories of unhealthy behaviors. Some of their findings included:

Chart showing unhealthy behaviors ranked

In July 2019, Dr. and Mrs. Cooper attended a five-day conference on well-being in Montana. Yale University’s Professor of Psychology and Cognitive Science, Lauri Santos, led one of the breakout sessions discussing the course on happiness she teaches at Yale. After surveying the students, she found 70 percent of the students suffered from depression because of the mere cost of going to Yale, with 26 percent of students admitting they have contemplated suicide. 

Though depression is a rampant problem across the globe, Dr. Cooper says that 30 minutes of sustained aerobic activity most days of the week is helpful in reducing depression and its symptoms. While weight and strength training is beneficial for relieving anxiety and stress in conjunction with aerobic activity, Dr. Cooper states that aerobic exercise takes priority over strength training.

For more information about Cooper Clinic, visit or call 972.560.2667.