The benefits of exercise on both the body and the mind have been studied at length over the years. Not only have researchers concluded that exercise helps prevent or manage certain diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, and arthritis, it also helps improve our body’s mental health. It has been suggested that by exercising, some people can even be weaned down on their antidepressant medications over time.
Exercise has been shown to help people suffering with depression. Keeping active helps release endorphins that keep the brain feeling content. This actually has the same effect on the mind as some drugs; by triggering the neurotransmitter systems of the brain, a person feels satisfied and happy. Exercise also has a way of boosting one’s confidence and refocusing their mind, which further helps reduce depression symptoms.
With all the benefits of exercising, it might be surprising that more people don’t make use of this simple activity to improve their mental and physical health. However, starting an exercise regimen is more easily said than done. If someone is already suffering from depression, it may be extremely difficult to get out and about, or even to get out of bed. It is important to start small and take baby steps to a more active life. Taking a walk is the simplest form of exercise, and it can be done anytime, anywhere. Activities like household chores or playing with the dog can be fulfilling and enjoyable for some or other people might want to join a relaxed sports league to get moving. Whatever form the exercise is in, it is suggested that in order to improve symptoms of depression, a person exercise at for at least 30 minutes, four to five times a week.
While experts are certain that exercise can improve depression symptoms, it should not be a substitute for the care of a physician. Anyone suffering from depression should first of all get professional help. Then, while under the care of a physician, it may be beneficial for the person to incorporate an exercise routine into their life to further improve their mental health.