Exercise as an Aid to Dealing with Depression

Posted: Nov 30 in Getting Active, Lifestyle by

It's not uncommon to feel a little down in the dumps from time to time. If asked to give an honest answer, nearly everyone would admit to being a bit sad at one time or another. You can wait for the mood to pass or, if you want to be proactive, you can add some elements to your daily routine to boost your mood. Exercise is often a great mood booster for a variety of reasons. Exercise gets those feel-good endorphins pumping and can be key to getting your mood back to its happy place. Exercise can come in many forms.

  1. If you haven't been exercising much lately, it's okay to start slowly. A simple walk outdoors can work wonders to improve your mood. Breathing fresh air and seeing other people can help you see beyond your own small world. You don't have to go far at first, but try to increase your time and distance with each passing day.
  2. After you've been walking for a while, you may want to mix things up with a short run. Or, if you have no interest in running a marathon, throw in a few short sprints between longer stretches of walking. Seeing your physical accomplishments improve will make you feel better.
  3. Another great exercise to ease your mild depression is yoga. With its slow, concentrated movements you will be able to find your focus. The meditative nature of yoga will calm your mind and allow you to regain your sense of well-being.
  4. Exercise doesn't have to look like traditional exercise or calisthenics in order to be effective. Get out in your garden and plant, pull weeds or organize your garden beds. You won't even notice you're getting exercise as you switch your attention from the thoughts inside your head to the beautiful outdoor space you are creating and expanding.
  5. If you have a four-legged friend, take time out of your day to take him for a walk. You will both benefit from stretching your legs and, once you see how happy your dog is with all the attention, you can both take on a happier outlook on life.
  6. Incorporate more exercise into your daily routine at the office. Take the stairs, walk to your colleague's office to exchange information rather than call, or get away from your desk during your lunch break. Go outside if you are able. Fresh air can go a long way to easing common doldrums.
  7. Both biking and swimming are great mood enhancers. The efforts involved in pedaling and swimming laps will really get the blood flowing. Increased blood flow to the brain can brighten your outlook.
  8. Take out some of your inner aggression with strength training. Lifting weights or pounding those machines at the gym will give your a feeling of overcoming your obstacles.

Exercise can improve your mood and lift you out of mild depression by giving you a sense of accomplishment. Every time you put your body through the paces, you are reinforcing the thoughts in your brain that you are strong and in control of your destiny. Just knowing that should improve your mental outlook canĀ help lift you from a mild depression.

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