After recently giving birth to her first child, a friend of mine decided to join a local gym to get back into shape. It wasn’t easy at first but once she got into the routine of getting regular exercise she found she not only was more physically fit but also was much happier. Throughout the years my friend has battled mild depression but never really exercised much. Once she started working out she noticed her depression went away. “I have so many friends on depression medication and I just knew I’d eventually have to do the same. But after seeing how my exercise has improved my moods I don’t feel depressed anymore. It is amazing how exercising helps!” I’m so happy my friend has found a natural way to help her moods and is in better shape too!
There are many studies that prove exercise improves your mood. One example is in a recent study conducted by the University of Vermont, it proved exercise does in fact elevate your mood. An exercise group was formed and showed significant positive effects on mood—regardless of gender, age, or fitness level—for up to 12 hours after only 20 minutes of moderate intensity cycle exercise. Some evidence suggests that exercise may boost feel-good endorphins, relieve muscle tension, help you sleep, and reduce the stress hormone cortisol. With this kind of scientific proof, exercise is part of my therapeutic plan for clients struggling with depression.
In addition to my friends’ new exercise routine, she also increased her interaction with people reducing her isolation which also decreased her depression. So, the next time you are feeling a little blue, try the following few tips:
1. Take a long walk with a friend
2. Go for a bike ride
3. Go swimming
4. Try ballroom dancing
5. Roller Blade
6. Take up a new sport such as tennis, softball, or golf.
7. Join a running club