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Exercise and Depression - Does Exercise Really Help Depression?

Updated on May 6, 2017

Exercise and Depression

Does exercise really help depression?

Anything which keeps your brain active is good, anything which takes you away from sitting around feeling bad. Exercise helps in several ways.

Exercise doesn't have to mean regular visits to the gym, hard grueling sessions, nor do you need to be particularly fit.

A walk every day is a good start; 10 or 15 minutes, or more, depending on each person and their level of fitness.

According to your own level of fitness and energy levels, you decide for yourself what is best for you. If you have a sport or a game that you enjoy, then do that.

You can walk, jog or run, anything from 10 minutes to an hour or two.

Those suffering from depression generally don't want to get out of bed, don't feel that they have a lot of energy, so usually it's best to start with a short walk each day, or every other day. Just being active is better than doing nothing, and even though you don't feel like doing anything, once you start moving you will feel better.

The connections between exercise and depression, and benefits therein, are unclear but definitely exist.

You don't have to be in great shape, to enjoy excercise
You don't have to be in great shape, to enjoy excercise

Exercise and depression

Any kind of movement, walking etc, will help to release endorphins and the neurotransmitters necessary to your brain, automatically giving you a feeling of well-being.

Exercise will also counteract the bad chemicals that make you feel bad in the first place, and raise your body temperature, which will have a great calming effect.

A short walk around the neighbourhood, apart from the exercise, will get you out and about amongst other people. Human contact, no matter how fleeting, is beneficial.

Swimming is an excellent form of exercise, which you can do at your own pace, and along with the sunshine, will have a calming effect on anybody. Swimming in salt water is particularly beneficial.

For those who are in good physical shape; bike riding, sports such as basketball, tennis, and football are all good. Of course when depressed; one doesn't have the energy to do things like this, but would need to build up to them gradually.

Does exercise really help depression? Basically, sitting around idle is no good for anyone with depression, and exercise is the ideal way to make you feel more positive about yourself. Taken in conjunction with cures, either medical or natural, exercise can put you well on the road to recovery.


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