Feeling low? Exercises to beat depression may be for you!
Depression is a prevalent problem and it affects about 17 percent of the global population. It is manifested by the feeling of being so low, loss of appetite, difficulty sleeping, fatigue, difficulty concentrating and sometimes, thoughts about suicide.
When you go through this experience at some point in your life, it is sometimes difficult to determine whether your actions are normal responses to stress or if you have become depressed.
But if you can see that the indications are affecting your behavior, mood and sleeping pattern for at least two weeks, you may be suffering from depression and this calls for professional help.
There are many methods to treat depression. These include the prescription of antidepressant medication, counseling and exercise. This article is intended to give you some insights about exercise as a way to treat depression.
The findings of several scientific studies suggest that a regular exercise regimen is an effective way to prevent or relieve depression. It helps to improve mood reduce stress, boost a person’s sense of well-being and enhance his ability to concentrate.
There are many reasons that can support the theory that exercise can help to beat depression. Here are some of them:
1. Exercise helps to stimulate the brain to release feel-good hormones. These hormones make us feel good about ourselves.
2. Outdoor exercises help us to see and appreciate the beauty of the world around us. This has a calming effect on the mind which can reduce stress and anxiety.
3. It helps to provide an adequate supply of oxygen to the brain and all the cells in the body. It can help to improve our mood and ability to think clearly.
4. It helps us to go out, get active and meet new people. Being in the company of other people can set us free from feeling isolated.
5. It helps to divert our minds to a new goal.
6 It helps to give us a feeling of well-being. It improves our self-esteem and it makes us more confident and feel better about ourselves.
7. Exercise is a process that can give us a sense of achievement and control. This can help to counter feelings of hopelessness and negativity.
8. It is completely natural and it does not produce unpleasant side effects.
9. It can help to reduce excess and prevent or treat obesity which is one of the many causes of low self-esteem.
These are some of the reasons why exercise can help to treat depression and anxiety. According to a survey, 85 percent of people who suffered from depression assert that exercise is a great way to combat depression.
If you are experiencing symptoms of depression that persist for two weeks or more, you need to see your doctor to seek professional advice.
Ways to Exercise to Beat Depression
If you have been diagnosed with depression or anxiety, regular exercise can be an effective component of your overall treatment plan. Here are some of the best exercises to help boost your mood and ease symptoms of depression:
- Aerobic Exercise
Aerobic exercise, such as running or bicycling, is a type of exercise that increases your heart rate and gets your blood pumping. This form of exercise has been shown to improve mental health and reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety. The intensity level of the exercise is important, and a moderate level of intensity is recommended.
Jogging is another form of aerobic exercise that can help improve your mental and physical health. It has been found to be an effective way to treat depression, especially for people with major depressive disorder. Studies have shown that just 30 minutes of jogging can significantly improve your mood.
Strength training, such as lifting weights or doing bodyweight exercises, can also be beneficial for people with depression or anxiety. It has been found to improve mood and self-confidence, and may also help reduce stress levels. Strength training can also help improve overall physical health, which is an important component of mental health.
Walking is a low-impact form of aerobic exercise that can be done almost anywhere. Walking with a friend or in a group can also provide social support and increase feelings of connectedness. A daily walk of just 30 minutes can help boost your mood and improve your overall sense of well-being.
- Play Tennis
Playing tennis is a fun and social way to get some exercise. It can also help improve your mental health by reducing stress and anxiety. The social aspect of playing tennis can also provide a sense of connectedness and boost your mood.
- Workout Routine
Creating a regular exercise routine can also be beneficial for people with depression or anxiety. It can provide structure to your day and give you a sense of control over your life. A consistent exercise program can also help improve your mood and reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.
It is important to start working out at a pace that is comfortable for you, and gradually increase the intensity and duration of your exercise over time. If you are still struggling with depression or anxiety, talk to your doctor or psychiatrist about other treatment programs or therapy sessions that may be helpful.
Tools to Help You Start Exercising
Starting an exercise program can be challenging, especially if you are struggling with depression or anxiety. Here are some tools to help you get started:
Find an Exercise Group
Joining an exercise group, such as a running club or yoga class, can provide social support and motivation. It can also be a great way to meet new people and make friends who share similar interests. By being part of a group, you can help keep each other accountable and encourage one another to keep going, even when it’s tough.
Choose Activities You Enjoy
The best exercise program is the one that you will stick with. Choosing activities that you enjoy will help you stay motivated and make exercise more pleasurable. Some options include jogging, weightlifting, cycling, swimming, or taking a dance class. Experiment with different forms of physical activity to find what you like best.
Start Slowly and Gradually Increase Your Activity Level
It’s important to start your exercise program slowly and gradually increase your activity level over time. This can help you avoid injury and prevent burnout. For example, start with 10 minutes of exercise per day and increase your time by five minutes each week until you reach your goal. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise per week.
Set Realistic Goals
Setting realistic goals can help you stay motivated and track your progress. Be specific about what you want to achieve and set a timeline for reaching your goals. For example, if you want to lose weight, set a goal to lose one pound per week. If you want to run a 5K, set a goal to run for five minutes without stopping and gradually increase your time.
Use Tools to Help You Stay on Track
There are many tools available to help you track your progress and stay motivated. You can use a fitness app to track your workouts, a pedometer to count your steps, or a heart rate monitor to measure your intensity. You can also use a calendar to schedule your workouts and keep track of your progress.
Starting an exercise program can be challenging, but the benefits for mental health are well worth the effort. By finding an exercise group, choosing activities you enjoy, starting slowly, setting realistic goals, and using tools to help you stay on track, you can create an exercise program that works for you.
Regular physical activity can help reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety and improve overall mood. It can also have positive physical benefits that can help improve mental health. Talk to your doctor before starting an exercise program to make sure it’s safe for you, particularly if you have any underlying health conditions.
With the right approach, exercise can be a powerful tool to help you feel better and live a happier, healthier life. To learn how to do this, please visit our exercise blog posts for more.