RP SP: Exercise Improves Depression

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Exercise Improves Depression

The idea that regular exercise can improve symptoms of depression and anxiety has been around for thousands of years. If you suffer from major depression, exercise probably won't be the only treatment you'll need, but it will help along with your treatment plan. Working out can enhance the benefits of antidepressant medications, and even produce similar results. But while medication and psychotherapy can take weeks to work, you can start feeling the positive effects of exercise right away.

Research shows that exercise:

Positively effects the same neurotransmitters that antidepressant medications target

Produces feel-good brain chemicals called "endorphins," which promote the sense of well-being and satisfaction

Releases tension in muscles that contributes to depression-related soreness and insomnia

Reduces levels of the stress hormone cortisol, relieving feelings of anxiety and agitation

Raises body temperature, which appears to have calming effects

Exercise can also promote the following psychological and emotional changes:

Distraction. Exercise compels you to focus on something besides your troubles for a little while, helping you find pleasure.

Confidence. By meeting a goal, like a small amount of exercise each day, you can begin to rebuild confidence and self-esteem.

Self-respect. Taking the time to do something positive to help yourself every day can help you reconnect with the part of you that wants to be healthy and productive.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I just read this Blog & need to get out of my funk.
    I agree that it helps & i need to get serious again.
    Thanks for posting it.
    ~ Lynn
    3876 days ago
    I posted it...because I believe so much is true and that I just thought it could be helpful info for someone ...

    Thanks for your comment GymRat54 :) emoticon
    3900 days ago
  • GYMRAT54
    I agree that exercise is really great in helping deal with stress anxiety and depression. The endorphins that generate the feel-good chemicals kick in. Strength training helps in releasing the stress and tension. Exercising is a physical activity that does provide a distraction to focus on something else for a while. It really boosts your confidence and gives personal satisfaction when you find yourself doing something you didn't think you could do or to find you're stronger than you thought you were. It does give you something to be positive about, knowing you've done something good and healthy for yourself. It also helps me sleep soundly.

    I'm just curious what brought this subject of your blog to mind.

    3900 days ago
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