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Does Exercise Help With Depression?
Research Says Yes!

Does Exercise Help With Depression? Research Says Yes!

Research has conclusively proved that regular exercise may be a great cure for stress and depression. Having a fabulous sweat session lets you have some fun and distracts you from worries. There are numerous benefits of working out every day for clinical mental patients or those who are facing some acute or chronic stress levels. It may just as help those who find their routine life overwhelming.

Working out and sleeping properly prove to be game-changers in the wake of treating clinical depression and other anxiety or stress-related issues. Such patients experience that their mood is lifted for the rest of the day if they start working out early morning. If exercise isn’t your cup of tea, you could start with as little as 10 minutes a day and slowly increase the duration as you progress for the best results.

Did you know? Even the smallest amount of exercise a day can prove to be beneficial when it comes to your mood and overall wellbeing. It’s better than doing nothing or stressing out over trifle every day.

Benefits of Exercising Every Day

Regular exercise improves self-esteem, self-control, sleep patterns, and helps ward off or slow down the progression of many chronic medical conditions. These issues are particularly caused by or are related to being overweight or obese. Committing to fitness exercises releases endorphins, the body chemicals that reduce the perception of pain and increase the feeling of well-being.

These feel-good hormones also have a positive, calming, and controlling effect on several mental ailments (including depression), thus making a strong case in favor of alternative modes of treatment. However, the bigger question is about deciding what kind of exercise to do and how often should it be done to make a significant difference. We think we have an answer to it and it’s up next.

How to relieve chronic stress and anxiety?

Stress is one of the central aspects of our mental health. All of us are likely to experience it from time to time and it does help us to focus better. However, the issue arises when it becomes chronic and starts affecting us adversely, thus sapping energy from our bodies continuously.

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, over 40 million people suffer from chronic or clinical anxiety disorders in the US. This is a worrisome number and it is only made worse every day by hectic and fast-paced lifestyles that pay little attention to mental health and well-being.

Tip: If you feel you’re suffering from an anxiety disorder or an occasional stressful episode, you should promptly reach out to a qualified wellness expert!

Working out a little every day can help you develop a feeling of accomplishment as you become more capable of handling stressful situations. You become more confident and start making better decisions on your own, thus helping you be more productive. Doing exercises regularly calms your nerves and keeps you away from stress.

Clinical depression:

For some people, even thinking of doing some easy workouts can cause physical and mental trouble. Some people may feel worse in public spaces such as gyms and other recreational centers due to a panic attack or becoming overly anxious.

In such situations, it is best to go for some moderate-intensity and comforting exercises like swimming, brisk walking, yoga, and brisk walking. People suffering from clinical depression or enhanced stress levels can also tune into their favorite music before choosing to work out.

Benefits of working out in the morning

Several studies have reported that exercise works similar to antidepressants. This is mainly because it increases the production of serotonin in the brain. It is a neurotransmitter that improves mental health, boosts mood, and productivity and helps tackle stress and depression. It also strengthens you physically and mentally, and makes you resilient to daily health issues.

Sweating it out and getting your heart racing with a great workout releases endorphins, the feel-good natural hormones in your body. They accentuate in the morning and can help you reap the benefits of a positive outlook throughout the day. When you work out every day, being happy and confident becomes your second nature.

Pro Tip: Participate in group workouts to have a social circle that motivates you to work out regularly.

Here are some simple exercises to start with

Brisk Running

Yes, running a 5k race is one of the best exercises for your health. It can help you burn calories faster, reduce food cravings, and lower the risk of heart diseases. Running for just five minutes a day might even help you live longer, according to 2014 research. It also releases lasting changes in our 'feel good' neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine, both during and after exercise.

The mental benefits of running every day are more for those who suffer from clinical depression. In a review published in the Journal of Psychiatry & Neuroscience (2006), researchers found that exercise works similarly to antidepressants. It alleviates major depressive disorder by promoting the growth of new neurons in the brain, thus making the person happier and confident.

Hiking in the woods

To maximize the mental health benefits of your sweat session, consider hitting the trails. Nature has a calming effect on the mind. Being around flowering plants and trees too can help us feel better because they emit chemicals that reduce our anxiety and stress.

Newer research seems to reinforce the idea that being immersed in nature is good for your mental health. A 2015 study published in the journal Landscape and Urban Planning discovered that a 50-minute nature walk can make you less anxious and more focused.

What happens when you exercise every day?

As the researchers sorted through the data, they discovered that for every 50 minutes of exercise added each week, the rate of depression fell by half. They also concluded that adding just 1-hour of walking per week may also cut your risk of depression by 50%.

This is particularly true for fitness professionals. Let's say that you exercise for 5 hours each week. Bumping it up to 6 hours will cut your risk of depression by half. There is an upper limit to this at some point but the evidence is clear: exercise often and it's more likely that you'll enjoy the rest of your life.

How to start exercising?

If you're struggling with depression and are new to working out, then the application of this article should be obvious. If you know someone who is battling depression, then please share this research with them- it might just help them turn the corner.

  • But even if you consider yourself to be a happy person, the principle of proving your identity to yourself can apply to virtually any goal you want to achieve.

  • Pick a daily habit that will strengthen your sense of self-worth and solidify your identity. For example, you could try meditation, exercise, writing, or creating art.

Whatever you choose, pick it now, start small, and prove to yourself that you can become the person you want to become. Small habits, when repeated consistently, can be the difference between success and failure, between confidence and doubt- or even between happiness and sadness.

The key is to start early and be consistent with it!