Exercise and Depression: How to Improve your Fitness For a Happy Mind

ways to improve mental well-being

This post is about exercise and depression.

I am not one that usually does a lot of exercises. I go out with my friends, get massages or do online shopping to get my dopamine hit. However, this does not make me fit and doesn’t help prevent depression in the best possible way.

Lately, I have started to hit the gym, and the improvement in my mental health is amazing!

I want you to experience an improvement in your mental health too! That’s why I am writing this blog post about exercise and depression. Find out what has worked for me and how I went from sad to energised in just a few short weeks.

In this post, I will explain the relationship between exercise and depression.

Exercise and Depression

1. How does exercise affect depression?

Exercise, such as light walking, can improve your mental health even at a low impact. Depression is a serious illness that needs a multifaceted treatment plan. Exercise is often one part of that plan. It affects depression as it creates serotonin which is a feel-good chemical.

When we are depressed we lack serotonin greatly. Walking, riding a bike, dancing or yoga are great ways to increase serotinin to aid in your recovery from depression.

2. Can exercise help overcome depression?

Does exercise increase serotonin?

By doing exercise you can help overcome depression. You become positively engaged in physical activity that gets your mind going.

Exercising outside is also great for depression as it helps you engage with the environment around you and helps you focus on other things rather than your depressive thoughts.

  • Overcoming depression can be challenging, but going for walks around your neighbourhood can help.
  • Meeting people during your walks, even through small interactions, can help improve your mood and put a smile on your face.
  • Walking can also get you out of the house, expanding your thought processes and helping to alleviate the symptoms of depression.

3. How quickly does exercise help depression?

exercise depression treatment

You can feel the benefits of exercise straight away. If you have low to moderate depression then exercise can help you to overcome depression if you stick at it. For more advanced clinical depression, it will take longer; however, if you are consistent, it will only do you good and not harm.

It is important to do an activity that you enjoy when exercising; I love a fun dance class and like going for nature walks. These things help me look forward to exercising.

If I were only doing weights or even a class at the gym that I didn’t enjoy, then it would set me back in my goal to overcome depression with exercise. That is because I wouldn’t look forward to it and probably would watch tv instead!

4. What kind of exercise is good for depression?

How does exercise impact mental health?
  • Any type of physical activity that raises your heart rate and gets you moving can be helpful for depression.
  • Examples of practical exercises include cardio workouts like running, cycling, or swimming, as well as strength training exercises like weightlifting.
  • Mind-body practices like yoga can also be helpful, as they combine physical movement with relaxation and stress reduction techniques.

exercise and depression study

Generally, it’s a good idea to aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise on most days of the week. Remember, finding an exercise you enjoy and can stick to over time is the most important thing.

5. Is lack of exercise linked to depression?

If you don’t exercise, you might feel tired and unhappy. You may also gain weight, which can make you feel sad.

When you don’t exercise, coping with stress is harder, and life can start to feel overwhelming. This can lead to poor physical health, which can contribute to feelings of sadness or hopelessness.

It’s important to make exercise a regular part of your routine to help reduce stress, improve physical health, and boost your mood. Even a little exercise each day can make a big difference in how you feel!

This post was about the relationship between exercise and depression.

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