Did you know exercise is good for depression ? Everyone knows exercising is great in maintaining a healthy body but have you ever considered the impact it also has on our minds. Exercising has many benefits. In this blog post we explore 9 reasons you should include physical activity in your daily activities.
1. Can be as effective as antidepressants
Research suggests that burning off 350 calories three times a week through sustained, sweat-inducing activity can reduce symptoms of depression about as effectively as antidepressants. That may be because exercise appears to stimulate the growth of neurons in certain brain regions damaged by depression.
Having to take tablets to regulate your mood is something none of us really like to do. When the founder took antidepressants for a year he didn’t want to be on them anymore. At the time, he probably did need them but he started exercising at the same time. ( Note : By no way do I advise stop taking your tablets, please seek professional advice before you do. )
The effect of exercise on your mood is so vast. You will find you feel a lift in your mood by natural means rather than artificial chemical initiation almost instantly. You should definitely attempt to incorporate using exercise to help along the way.
2. Reduces stress
Many of us are becoming more and more stressed as our workloads increase. Our financial pressure increase and more and more is expected of us from our bosses.
When we exercise we release natural ‘soothing’ chemicals into our brain of serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine. These chemical releases reduce stress, depression and anxiety naturally. Not only this, but it has also been proven to slow the ageing process.
3. Improves Learning ability
Are you keen to learn a new skill or something to improve your career? Well, Exercise has proven to help with learning.
It is well known that exercise increases the level of brain chemicals. These chemicals help establish new connections between brain cells that aid us in learning. Complicated activity such as tennis, dancing or other sports that require us to think as well as move. Studies show that these activities help give your brain the biggest boost to your learning ability.
Like any muscle, when you exercise the brain you are helping it grow and strengthen. Exercise is improving your ability to learn as well as improving your body’s strength.
According to German researchers not only does it improve your learning but it also improves your attention span.
The researchers discovered, that people who undertook physical activity that required concentration scored better on high-attention tasks.
4. Improve self-esteem
I guess this one is a no brainer. The more often you exercise the more fit you will feel. After several weeks of exercise you start to notice your body change shape. This can help improve your self-esteem about looking and feeling good.
If you think you look better you naturally will start to become more confident in yourself.
You’ll also notice that you are able to push yourself that little bit further each week. What you did the week before you will feel good knowing you are able to push your body even further. You become stronger and fitter which will give a sense of achievement and lift your spirits.
5. Exercise is good for depression and also helps keep the brain fit
As we age all our cells begin to die. Even just a mild activity like a leisurely walk can help keep your brain fit and active evading memory loss. Keeping skills like vocabulary retrieval relatively strong.
In a 2011 study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, Canadian researchers analyzed the energy expenditure and cognitive functioning of elderly adults over the course of two to five years. Most of the participants did not work out; their activities revolved around short walks, cooking, gardening, and cleaning. Still, compared with their sedentary peers, the most active participants scored significantly better on tests of cognitive function, and they showed the least amount of cognitive decline. By the study’s end, roughly 90 percent of them could think and remember just as well as they could when the study began.
6. Improves your memory
As you exercise your blood pumps around your body faster and improving the overall functionality of your brain. In particular, your ability to memorise.
In one study that looked at brain structure pre- and post-workout, researchers found increases in brain volume in a number of areas after participants got sweaty. The effect is pretty noticable, too: Patients in the study did 10 to 15 percent better on a variety of memory and attention tasks after they’d exercised.
7. Excercise helps you to maintain your sight
Something that you may not associate exercise with is your sight. Some studies suggest that people who ran 1.2 to 2.5 miles a day had almost 20 percent less chance of developing age-related degeneration of vision. Whilst those who ran even further cut their chances by as much as 50 percent!
To find out more about this please visit this link about how exercise boosts your brainpower.
8. Exercise is good for depression as it helps you cope better
In life we all have challenges. It’s part of all our lives, none of us escape it. When we exercise it can help us learn to deal with our perceived problems a lot more efficiently. Rather than just trying to escape them through substance misuse like alcohol, drugs or other negative behaviours. Those things will only make you feel worse.
You naturally have more endorphins in your brain through exercise. Once regularly exercising, the world will start to become a bit brighter, no matter what challenges you are faced with.
Is exercise good for depression?
As a result, exercise is probably VITAL to being a part of a recovery program for depression. There are many positive aspects to exercising. You don’t have to necessarily go the gym to take part in physical activity either. ( I am sure that will please many of you as it did me! ) There are many activities you can undertake, even in your own home. Gaming technology such as Xbox Kinect or Wii fit, Simple exercise like taking your family dog for a walk, or simply going for a long walk in your local park is all positive moves into exercise routines. The hardest part is the starting, getting motivated and get doing what you need to do. Once you start though, you have got the ball rolling. After your first session, you may notice an almost instant lift! This feel good factor will give you more motivation to continue this regularly.