The benefits of regular exercise go beyond the physical. Exercise can also help alleviate anxiety and depression. Many studies have shown that exercise is effective in reducing or even preventing symptoms of depression. Exercise for depression seems to have substantial mental health benefits for people with anxiety and similar health conditions.
According to a review published online in August 2019 in the Journal of Neurology, exercise can dramatically improve depressive symptoms and quality of life when used as an adjunct therapy to the usual treatment plan – and the more exercise, the better, the authors concluded.
Fitness routines complement a depression treatment plan, yet they can also be a part of it. There are possibly multiple factors at play. Keep reading to know now the details.
What is seasonal depression?
Seasonal depression is also known as Seasonal Affective Disorder.
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) occurs when the seasons change, usually around the time of the fall. During the fall or early winter, the severity of this seasonal depression increases before it ends during the sunny days of spring.
SAD can also come in mild forms called the “winter blues.” It is normal to feel a little down in the winter months. Perhaps you are stuck inside, and it’s getting darker earlier.
The full scope of SAD goes beyond this. Essentially, it is depression. A SAD affects all aspects of your day-to-day life, from how you feel to how you think, which can greatly impact your well-being. However, treatments like counseling for depression & anxiety are available to help you get through this challenging time.
How do exercise help depression and anxiety?
Exercising regularly offers biological benefits for depression and anxiety.
- Induces the production of feel-good endorphins, naturally occurring cannabinoids (endogenous cannabinoids), and other naturally occurring brain chemicals that can enhance your sense of wellbeing
- Focusing on something other than worriesmay help relieve depression and anxiety by getting you out of the cycle of negative thoughts.
The benefits of regular exercise extend to your psychological well-being as well. This includes:
- Confidence is key. You can increase your self-confidence by setting goals and completing challenges. You can feel better about yourself if you are in good shape.
- Increase your social interaction. Physical activity and exercise can give you more opportunities to interact with others. You can improve your mood by simply exchanging friendly greetings and smiles as you stroll through your community.
- Depression counseling. It is healthy to find positive ways to manage anxiety and depression. Worsening your symptoms can be caused by trying to make yourself feel better, drinking alcohol, dwelling on your feelings, or hoping that depression or anxiety will disappear on its own.
Can structured exercise program can help?
Research suggests that regular walking, and not just formal exercise programs, may improve mood. Exercise and physical activity can be good for your health, even though they aren’t the same.
- Physical activity refers to any activity that exercises your muscles and uses energy. It can be part of work, home, or leisure.
- An exercise program is a planned, structured, repetitive activity that improves or maintains physical fitness.
Although “exercise” might be associated with running around the gym, it can also refer to other activities. Exercising can include various activities that increase your activity level and make you feel more energetic.
Any activity that gets your heart pumping can help you feel happier. Running, lifting weights, basketball, and other activities stimulating your heart can be great ways to stay fit. Physical activity, such as gardening or walking around the block, can also help.
You don’t have to do all your physical activity or exercise. Find ways to increase your physical activity by broadening your outlook on exercise. Consider taking the stairs over the elevator. Park further from work to make it easy to take a short walk. Consider biking to work, even if you live near your job.
What exercise is good for anxiety and depression?
It is believed that any type of exercise may help with depression. A few examples of moderate exercise are:
- Golf (walking instead of riding the cart)
- Housework, such as mopping, sweeping, or vacuuming
- Running at a moderate pace
- Aerobics with low-impact
- Yard work, particularly mowing or raking
As strong social support is essential for people suffering from depression and anxiety, joining a group fitness class can be beneficial. It is also possible to exercise with a companion or a friend. By doing this, you’ll gain physical exercise as well as emotional security in knowing that other people will be there to support you.
How can I start exercise that can help me to get motivated?
If you are just beginning your fitness program, it is important to establish an exercise routine that is simple to keep and follow. When you are at ease with your routine, you may begin to vary the time you exercise and activities.
Here are some helpful tips to get you to start:
- Find an activity you love. Exercise should be enjoyable.
- Incorporate your workout routine into your calendar. If you require reminders, you to keep the date on your schedule. Here are some helpful tips to help you start:
- Variety is the flavor of life. Be sure to vary your workouts to avoid becoming bored. Go to your local gym and community center for various exercise classes.
- Don’t let fitness programs cost you money. If you’re not going to use them frequently, do not purchase gym memberships or expensive equipment.
- Keep it up. If you are active regularly, you will soon make it an integral part of your routine and can help decrease your depressive symptoms.
If you’re suffering from chronic anxiety or depression, you could face an ongoing struggle. It’s crucial not to let the challenges make you feel more depressed and understand the importance of counseling.
Even if adding exercise to your normal treatment isn’t going to bring an end to your condition, it could boost your mood for a moment and give you some additional motivation. Although exercise isn’t an effective treatment, and if it helps your feel healthier, then it’s something worth taking the time to do. It’s also crucial for overall health, which is a great motivator.
The struggle of living with depression, anxiety, or both can be difficult. You know how challenging it is if you’re suffering from mental health issues. Get assistance and call on the free helpline for depression.