Exercise and Depression
There are several sources which state that the link between depression and exercise is not one to be ignored. We know that when you have depression or anxiety, exercising is perhaps the last thing on your mind. But, once you get into the swing of it, exercise can make a huge difference overall.
It’s obvious that exercise has its physical benefits, preventing and improving high blood pressure, diabetes and arthritis. However, research suggests that exercise also helps our psychological health alongside our physical wellbeing to improve mood and reduce anxiety.
On our Programme, we often discuss the benefits that exercise has on our mental health and although the links aren’t entirely clear working out can definitely ease symptoms of depression or anxiety making you feel more positive.
But how does exercise help us with depression?
Whilst exercising, our bodies release a feel-good hormone known as endorphins. This is usually the “high” we feel after exercising, making us feel successful and determined. A boost of positivity can long a way.
Exercise also gives us time to clear our head. Whether it’s cycling, running or even walking exercise will give us a chance to let go of our worries and the cycle of negative thoughts that run around our minds.
A boost in confidence can certainly go a long way for anyone feeling anxious and exercise can you give you just that. Meeting exercise goals or challenges you set can boost your self-confidence. Make sure they’re realistic goals that you know you can stick too. Getting in shape can also help you feel better about your physical appearance, giving you more confidence.
Joining an exercise class or group can be super daunting at first. It does, however, give us the chance to meet new people and interact with others who have the same interests. If you didn’t want to join a group, even exchanging a small smile whilst running or walking in the park can help your mood.
With all this in mind, remember, you don’t have to change your lifestyle overnight. Try easing yourself into exercise by walking instead of taking the bus or car, then building up to something you enjoy. You will find by taking the steps gradually, you are more likely to continue progressing. Small steps lead to big changes!