How to Beat Depression and Anxiety with Exercise
Regular exercise is an effective way of relieving various forms of depression and anxiety. However, it’s a strategy often neglected in depression and anxiety treatment. Extensive studies have shown people that are regularly less prone to exhibiting symptoms of depression or anxiety than those who don’t.
When battling with depression or anxiety, exercise is usually the last thing you’ll do. But a little motivation can do wonders for you, and it only takes a little to get you going. Regular exercise helps prevent an array of health problems – both physical and mental. And much research on anxiety and depression has shown that the physical and psychological benefits of exercise will help improve your mood and reduce anxiety and stress.
Although the links between anxiety and depression aren’t entirely clear, regular workouts and physical activity help treat (and even prevent) their symptoms. It isn’t a bold statement, but a scientific fact.
How does exercising affect the symptoms of depression?
When practiced regularly, with a formal exercise program, it helps by:
- Releasing feel-good endorphins such as serotonin that helps enhance your sense of wellbeing and fitness.
- Boosts your self-confidence with every small win or goal reached.
- It enables you to socialize and meet with people – whether it be at the gym or outside training.
- It takes your mind off worries – you will be more focused on your exercise.
What types of exercise should you try?
The three types of exercise have been proven to be the most common and most effective in alleviating anxiety and depression symptoms so far are – running, hiking, and yoga.
You’ve heard it numerous times before, and it’s true – running is one of the healthiest forms of physical exercise you can try. Aside from burning calories and lowering risk for heart disease, running causes changes to your “feel good” brain mechanisms by producing more serotonin both before, during, and after the workout. The repetitive motion of running can improve your brain health by inducing a sort of meditative state that takes your mind off negative things.
Aside from the positive health impact of fresh air and physical activity, hiking can have a tremendous effect on your mental wellbeing as well. Nature has a calming effect on the mind, and being surrounded by all of its bliss can help lower stress hormone levels, leaving you feeling less anxious.
What’s great about yoga is that, besides core strengthening, stretching and regular exercise, it makes you focus on your breathing. It helps to slow down the mind and calm the body. Many experts agree on the effects of this – it’s hard to stay anxious when breathing deeply. You can try this yourself, whether or not in a yoga class, by doing the 4-7-8 breathing technique.
Small things count
Not all physical activity should include an exhaustive workout or tiresome runs. No, it doesn’t require you to become the next Captain America to be sure.
Go out with a friend for a stroll, do some gardening or other house chores, and take your pet for a walk. A drop of motivation and a dash of inspiration is all it takes. Just pull on a pair of your favorite socks in the morning and say, “I can and I will.” Remember, Inspyr Gear always has your back because we want to help you beat all the odds and fulfill your dreams!