Ask our Experts

A reader asks:

 Do you agree with the opinion that SAD should be treated simultaneously by light, regularly scheduled exercise and proper diet? Or do you believe light treatment alone is enough? Just how important is regular exercise during the winter months?

Answer:

Aerobic exercise can indeed complement the antidepressant and energizing effect of light therapy. Problem is, many people suffering depression cannot garner the motivation to maintain a regular exercise regimen. We suggest first starting with bright light therapy, and as its beneficial effect sets in, taking the opportunity to begin a daily aerobic routine. As for diet, regular healthy measures are all we would suggest. Once the antidepressant effect from light (or light + exercise) sets in, it becomes far easier to control excessive carb intake.