Many studies have shown that people who exercise regularly reap the benefits of lower rates of depression and a positive boost in mood and energy.
How does exercise help with depression and anxiety?
When you exercise your brain releases feel-good endorphins that ease depression. These endorphins also trigger a positive feeling in the body which help diminish the perception of pain and anxiety. Exercise will also reduce immune system chemicals that can deepen depression. You will raise your heart rate which increases your body temperature for a calming effect. Exercise has psychological and emotional benefits, too. It can help you gain confidence, boost self-esteem, improve sleep and getting in shape can help you feel better about your appearance!
What type of exercise is best?
The good news is that virtually any form of exercise can help depression and anxiety.
You don’t have to go crazy and run 10 miles every day! Exercise includes a wide range of activities that boost your activity level to help you feel better. Running, lifting weights, playing sports and other fitness activities that get your `heart pumping can help. But so can gardening, washing your car, taking a stroll and other less intense activities. Anything that gets you off the couch and moving is an exercise that can help improve your mood and reduce depression. You can start slowly by taking walks around the neighborhood (go with a friend!) Gradually, work up to exercising on most days of the week.
Try any of these moderate ways to get exercise:
Making lifestyle changes can also help:
*Eat healthy whole foods
, fruits and vegetables. Use healthy fats and limit sugar. Make sure to get a good night’s sleep. Drink plenty of water.
*Reduce stress at home and at work
. Ask for help with some of the stressful things in your life. Enlist friends or family to occasionally help take care of some of the daily chores, like housework. If your job is stressful, figure out ways to scale back some of your responsibilities.
Exercise is a distraction that can get you away from the cycle of negative thoughts that feed anxiety and depression.
. Joining a group exercise class may be beneficial. Exercise with a friend or partner.
Other added health benefits:
Strengthens heart muscle
Lowers Blood Pressure
Reduced Body Fat
Leaner, more toned muscles
Look fit and healthy
Help reduce risk of osteoporosis, diabetes, and other types of diseases
Exercise and $e*–Kindle Booklet — Exercise and Endorphins-Kindle Booklet
Always check with your doctor before beginning any new exercise program.
Creating a steady exercise program is a win-win situation and there is no excuse to not get started today. Look and feel your best by incorporating fitness and healthier eating into your lifestyle while you keep depression and anxiety at bay.
Have a Healthy Day!
About the Author:
Laura McDonald is a busy mother of three, a musician, writer, foodie, an ACE-certified Personal Trainer and Holistic Health Coach in NYC. She loves training her clients outdoors, writing rock songs, working on her yoga skills and creating recipes full of love. Her successful Slim Down programs are now available on her website and her unique fitness program has been featured on NBC. Laura is on a mission to help busy men and women of all ages create a leaner, stronger, body and mind. You can visit her website here.