The Science of How Exercise Can Help Reduce Depression
When we are struggling with depression, stress, and anxiety, exercise is often the last thing we want to do. But if you are motivated, exercise can make a huge difference in your mental health.
Exercise helps to prevent and improve many health problems such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and arthritis. Research on depression and exercise shows the psychological and physical benefits of exercise can also help to improve mood and reduce depression.
The relationship between depression, anxiety, and exercise is not very clear but working out and other forms of physical activity can definitely ease the symptoms of depression and make you feel happy. Exercise may also help keep depression from coming back once you are feeling better.
Why is it Difficult to Start an Exercise Routine When You are Depressed and Stressed?
Depression affects the whole body by causing insomnia, less energy, appetite changes, body aches, and increased pain perception, all of which can result in less motivation to do exercise daily. It is hard to break the cycle but getting up and moving just a little bit will help. You can start with five minutes a day of walking or any activity which relieves you. Soon 5 minutes become 10 minutes, and 10 will become 15 minutes.
It is unclear that how long you need to exercise, and with what intensity, before nerve cell improvement begins alleviating depression. You should begin to feel better and after a week you begin exercising. But it is long-term treatment, not a one-time fix.
How Can Exercise Help Reduce Depression, Anxiety and Stress?
One in 10 adults in the United States struggles with depression, and antidepressant medications are a common way to treat the condition. However, pills aren’t the only solution. Research shows that exercise is also an effective treatment.
Exercising starts a biological cascade of events that results in many health benefits, such as protecting against heart disease and diabetes, improving sleep, and lowering blood pressure. High-intensity exercise releases the body’s feel-good chemicals called endorphins, resulting in the “runner’s high”.
For most of us, the real value is in low-intensity exercise sustained over time. That kind of activity spurs the release of proteins called neurotrophic or growth factors, which cause nerve cells to grow and make new connections. The improvement in brain function makes you feel better.
Regular Exercise Has several Psychological and Emotional Benefits. Exercise Can Help You:
Meeting exercise goals can boost your self-confidence. Getting in shape feel you better about your appearance.
More Social Interaction
Exercise may give you the chance to meet or socialize with other people. Just exchanging a friendly smile can bring change to your mood.
Cope in a Healthy Way
Doing something positive to manage depression brings changes to your life and is a healthy coping strategy. Trying to feel better by using alcohol and other drugs can lead to worsening symptoms and bad condition of your mental health.
Mental Health Benefits of Exercise
Exercise is not only aerobic capacity and muscle size. Exercise can increase your physical health and your physique, trim your waistline, enhance your mental health and add years to your life. But that is not what inspires most people to remain active.
People who exercise regularly tend to do so because it gives them many benefits and a sense of well-being. They feel more energetic throughout the day, sleep better at night, have sharper memories, and feel relaxed with positive thoughts throughout the day and they start their day with such a healthy thing. And it is a powerful kind of medicine for many common mental health challenges.
Regular exercise can have a positive influence on depression, anxiety, and ADHD. It also reduces depression, improves memory, helps you sleep better, and boosts your overall mood. And you do not have to be a fitness fanatic to gain the benefits. Research shows that a modest amount of exercise can make a real difference. No matter what your age is and what is your fitness level, you can learn to use exercise as a powerful tool to deal with mental health issues, improve your energy and your appearance, and get more out of life.
Even if are not suffering from any mental health problem, daily physical activity can still give a boost to your mood, outlook, and mental well-being. Exercise can help your mind by:
The endorphins that make you feel better also help you to concentrate and feel mentally sharp in your work. Exercise also increases the growth of new brain cells and helps prevent age-related decline.
Daily exercise is an investment to your mind, body, and soul. Once it became your habit, it can foster your sense of self-worth and make you feel strong and powerful. You will feel better about your outlook and, by meeting small exercise goals, you will feel a sense of achievement.
Even exercise for a small period of time in the morning can help regulate your sleep patterns. If you prefer to exercise at night, relaxing exercises such as yoga or moderate stretching can help to promote sleep.
Enhancing your heart rate many times a week will give you more get-up-and-go. Start off with just a few minutes of exercise daily, and increase your exercise as you feel more energized and powerful. So, you can do your daily tasks easily.
When faced with mental or emotional challenges in life, exercise can help you build resilience and cope in a healthy way, instead of drinking alcohol, drugs, or other negative behaviors that ultimately only make your symptoms worse. Daily exercise can also help to enhance your immune system and reduce the influence of depression.
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