We often think that depression and exercise do not go hand in hand, but nowadays more and more doctors prescribing exercise programs in addition to the more normal treatments for depression. This article discusses the benefits of exercise for depression and guidelines before embarking on an exercise program.
Depression and exercise seems to be an odd combination because the last thing a depressed person want to do is exercise. However, using exercise to get out of depression is a growing trend. If you are suffering from depression it is important that you seek medical advice from a doctor or a therapist first. But don’t be surprised if your doctor prescribe an exercise program for you on top of other depression treatments.
Image source: freedigitalphotos.net
Exercise to Help Depression
How can exercise helping depressed people? Benefits of exercise for depression can be divided into two ways:
- Physical benefits
- Exercise can reduce a certain chemical in the body that make depression worse.
- Exercise releases feel-good brain chemicals that ease depression.
- Exercise increases body temperature that can have a calming effect.
- Psychological benefits
- Exercise is a good coping strategy. It is a good way to get out of depression because the benefit lasts for a long time.
- Exercise distracts you from your problems. Having a set schedule for your exercise routine, no matter what it is gives you something to look forward to.
- Exercise can improve your confidence. As you improve your level of fitness you will gain more confidence in yourself and your ability to meet your goals.
- Exercise gives you a reason to have more social interaction. Exercise allows you to meet other people whether at the gym or just greeting people during your walk.
- Exercise increases your self-esteem. Exercise will improve your appearance and your sense of self-worth.
- Exercise helps to relief stress and frustration.
Which Exercise Program You Should Go For?
There are many types of exercise you can try to help you get out of depression.
- Weight lifting
- playing games such as basketball or badminton
Try to find ways to fit physical activity into your routine. Anything that gets you off the couch or bed and moving is exercise that can improve your mood.
Try to exercise for 30 minutes a day, for three to five days a week. But if you can’t achieve this target, smaller amounts of activity like 10 or 15 minutes at a time is better than not doing anything at all.
General Guidelines to Consider Before Starting An Exercise Program