Do you know that exercise is important, not just for your health, but also for depression? Dr. John M. Grohol, Psy.D. writes for the World of Psychology about how beneficial exercise is for depressed people. Yet, it requires motivation to get the benefit of exercise. Getting motivated to exercise, let alone anything else, can be difficult for people with depression.
Antidepressant effects of exercise
Dr. Grohol notes that research shows physical exercise has antidepressant effects. For instance it:
- Benefits the immune system.
- Aids maintenance of overall physical health.
- May improve the balance between oxidants and antioxidants.
The research also shows that exercise is helpful for treating depression, even if no other treatments are included. Considering many people never get treatment in the first place, exercise is a helpful preventative measure.
There are other benefits for exercising as well. Working out helps clear your mind and takes your focus off of your worries. You sleep better when you are regularly active. Also, by staying physically fit, you help improve your self-esteem. Many forms of physical activity are social. This means more opportunities to interact with other people.
Even getting just twenty minutes of exercise a day is beneficial for staving-off depression. Still you need motivation to get up and get physical. If you see exercise as an insurmountable obstacle, you are less likely to do it.
Exercise to incorporate
Therefore, Dr. Grohol recommends incorporating exercise into your everyday routine in the following ways:
- Blend physical activity into other areas of your life, such as taking the stairs at work instead of the elevator.
- Set goals and rewards to stay motivated.
- Ask for help from friends and family.
- Take advantage of technology, such as phone apps or a pedometer.
Exercise doesn’t have to be this impossible. Get the benefits of exercise in fighting depression by incorporating it into your everyday life.
Want to learn more about exercise, depression, and motivation?
Read the full article here: Exercise Helps Your Mental Health, Depression & Anxiety: Now What?