Exercise may seem like the last thing you want to do when you are depressed. But once you get motivated, exercise can make a big difference.
Exercise helps prevent and improve a number of health problems, physical benefits of exercise can also help reduce anxiety and improve mood.
The links between anxiety, depression and exercise aren’t exactly clear — but working out and other forms of physical activity can definitely ease symptoms of anxiety or depression and make you feel better.
How does exercise help depression?
Regular exercise probably helps ease depression in a number of ways, which may include:
a) Releasing feel-good brain chemicals
b) Reducing immune system chemicals
c) Increasing body temperature
Regular exercise has many psychological and emotional benefits:
a) Gain confidence. .
b) Take your mind off worries.
c) Get more social interaction. .
d) Cope in a healthy way.
Some research shows that physical activity such as regular walking and not just formal exercise programs can help improve emotional and mental health.
Certainly running, lifting weights, playing basketball and other fitness activities that get your heart pumping can help. But so can physical activity such as gardening, washing your car, walking around the block or engaging in other less intense activities.
Exercise or other physical activities are not done all at once. You have to find ways to add small amounts of physical activity throughout the day. For example, take the stairs instead of the elevator, parking a little farther away from work to fit in a short walk.