When you exercise, your body releases happy endorphins, or chemicals in the brain, which are powerful depression fighters.
Research has shown that increased levels of these chemicals, such as Serotonin, will help to treat mild to moderate depression as effectively as antidepressant medication without any of the side-effects.
Low levels of Dopamine, which is linked with depression, can make you feel like you cannot be bothered to get up off the couch, let alone move about. Still, if you can make yourself to do it, it can lift your energy level and your spirits. A recent study found that running for 15 minutes a day or walking for an hour reduces the risk of major depression by 26%! The fact that physical activity boosts the release of dopamine and serotonin partially explains why exercise is a natural mood lifting antidepressant.
It is recommended that you should aim to do at least 150minutes of moderate intensity exercise over the course of the week. There are over 100,000 minutes in a week... so this works out LESS than 1% of your total minutes... In fact it is 0.15% to be precise!