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How to fight depression with exercise

It has been medically proven that regular exercise boosts your mood and lowers rate of depression. When you exercise your body releases chemicals called endorphins and these chemicals help your brain cope with pain in a better manner.

It also triggers a positive feeling similar to what happens when you take morphine. That is why you feel elated after a healthy dose of exercise.

Although depression may happen due to various negative experiences you suffer in your day-to-day life it has also got a lot to do with your general health. Healthy people who live an active life are rarely depressed. Regular exercise can provide you the following health-related benefits:

  • It increases your energy levels
  • It keeps your blood pressure in check
  • Exercise reduces stress and hence, depression
  • It boosts self-esteem
  • It improves your sleep and keeps you well-rested
  • It helps you reduce body fat
  • It keeps you healthy and fit
  • Exercise gets rid of stress hormones that can cause many problems like headaches, fatigue, loss of concentration and lack of sleep
  • It provides a change of scene as you go out and spend time in different surroundings

Does exercise also help in clinical depression?

Since exercise triggers chemical reactions in your body it does have some positive effect even on those patients who are clinically depressed but you should definitely seek medical help if that is the case. Even if you need to take medicine regular exercise can speed up the healing process.

What types of exercises you should indulge in order to fight depression?

Exercising doesn’t mean joining a gym or building muscles. Even regular activities can give you plenty of exercise that can have a positive effect on your overall mental state. For instance you can

  • Go for biking
  • Join dancing classes
  • Do gardening
  • Play games that involve walking
  • Do manual housework instead of using appliances
  • Do some light aerobic exercises
  • Go for walks
  • Do yoga
  • Play with your pet
  • Go for outings with your kids

Do you need medical supervision before you begin to exercise?

It depends. Normal activities mentioned above don’t require you to seek professional help. If you want to do specialized exercises then it is advised that you do them under trained supervision.

It is not necessary that exercise can help you fight every kind of depression but it definitely gives you a stronger body to cope with depression.