How Exercise Can Help With Depression
Exercise helps prevent and improve a number of health problems, including high blood pressure, diabetes and arthritis. Research on depression, anxiety and exercise shows that the psychological and physical benefits of exercise can also help improve mood and reduce anxiety.
Depression manifests physically by causing disturbed sleep, reduced energy, appetite changes, body aches, and increased pain perception, all of which can result in less motivation to exercise. It's a hard cycle to break, but getting up and moving just a little bit will help. And you don’t have to be a fitness fanatic to reap the benefits. Research indicates that modest amounts of exercise can make a difference. No matter your age or fitness level, you can learn to use exercise as a powerful tool to feel better.
People who exercise regularly tend to do so because it gives them an enormous sense of well-being. They feel more energetic throughout the day, sleep better at night, have sharper memories, and feel more relaxed and positive about themselves and their lives. And it’s also powerful medicine for many common mental health challenges.
Exercise is a powerful depression fighter for several reasons. Most importantly, it promotes all kinds of changes in the brain, including neural growth, reduced inflammation, and new activity patterns that promote feelings of calm and well-being. It also releases endorphins; powerful chemicals in your brain that energize your spirits and make you feel good.
Here are some exercises that can help with depression.:
Running is one of the best exercises for your health: It can torch calories, reduce food cravings, and lower your risk for heart disease. Running for just five minutes a day might even help you live longer, according to 2014 research. Running may make it easier for you to fall asleep at night, which benefits your overall mental health by improving memory, lowering stress levels, and protecting against depression.
The ancient practice of yoga can have a wonderful effect when it comes to mental health, being beneficial not only for those who suffer from depression but also for those diagnosed with anxiety or neurosis. Practiced on a regular basis, it reduces the overall levels of stress. At the same time, it can improve the overall cognitive functioning, so you do not have to ask yourself how to improve your memory anymore. Yoga allows one to concentrate on breathing while slowing down and calming an otherwise agitated mind.
Dancing is one of the pleasures of life and, at the same time, an excellent type of physical exercise. When you hear your favorite music, and you begin moving your body to the rhythm, nothing else matters during that time. You are transported into another world and, suddenly, your negative thoughts are no longer important. Dancing increases the level of self-esteem, being particularly recommended to those who suffer from anxiety or depression. It is fun, easy and allows you to get in touch with your relaxed side.
Finally, exercise can also serve as a distraction, allowing you to find some quiet time to break out of the cycle of negative thoughts that feed depression. Being in the present moment can help you cultivate gratitude and focus on the good things and people you have in your life – something that’s liable to be forgotten amid the heavy fog of negative thoughts that loop in our mind during a period of depression.
A serial entrepreneur and former financial advisor, Jean Titus discovered his purpose and passion through the heartache of losing loved ones far too early. He lives his mantra – “We rise by lifting others” – daily as a life coach and Personal Trainer. Jean brings a simplicity and practicality to his work, helping clients draw on their strengths to realize the one thing money can’t buy – good health and wellness. Follow him on Instagram and his fitness journey!