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How Workouts Reduce Depression


Not many people are aware that exercise has the power to ward-off depression. How can a physical activity affect your emotions and mentality, right? That just sounds a bit far-fetched. But it can! In this article, let's talk about how workouts reduce depression and why they are one of the most terrific ways to deal with pressure and stress.

This is how it basically works: When you engage in a regular physical activity, your body secretes chemicals known as endorphins. Endorphins are also known as the body's "happy hormones." They trigger the feeling of lightness and happiness. Some experts also say that their effect is somewhat similar to morphine. They interact with the brain receptors and lessen your perception of pain-- as if they were your biological analgesics. What great chemicals, don't you think? Obviously, if you want their regular dose, exercising is the freest and easiest way to get them!

Apart from the release of more endorphins, exercising has also been proven to help with the following:

Alleviate stress

Improve sleep pattern

Boost self-esteem

Strengthen the heart

Lower blood pressure

Increase levels of energy

Build bones

Reduce body fat

Improve muscle tone

Make you look fit and sexy

Ward-off anxiety and the other feelings of depression

Now, when exercising to fight-off depression, you don't always have to go to the gym or engage in a strict fitness program. There are other activities you can do on a regular basis which will not only enable you to exercise but also have fun. Some of these activities are cycling, gardening, dancing, playing golf, playing tennis, swimming, mowing the yard, doing yoga, jogging at a moderate pace, and even just walking. Doing what you love is certainly one of the greatest ways on how workouts reduce depression.

Moving on, there may be times when exercising with others can motivate a person more. If this is your case, you may want to join a social fitness group whom you can exercise with. Another thing you can do is exercise with someone you know. Perhaps a family member or friend would love to start a fitness regimen too. By exercising together, you can help each other not just in doing a physical activity but providing emotional support too.

In most cases, it's OK to plunge into an exercise program even without talking with the doctor. However, if this is the first time that you are exercising, are already in your 50s, or are suffering from a medical condition like diabetes, hypertension, and the likes, it would be wise to consult with a healthcare provider first. He or she can give you appropriate precaution according to your condition. He or she may also give you additional tips to get the most out of your workouts.

When you already got the green light from the doctor, you can start exercising at least 20 minutes, three or four times a week. As you go along, you can lengthen the time of or each session as well as the frequency in a week. Studies have shown that exercising five times a week is a lot better than anything less.

Remember to always start slow. Your first routine should be easy to follow as well as maintain. When the routine is too tough, you might get discouraged to do it again and this is absolutely not the way on how workouts reduce depression. Still, the best way to go about it is to choose something you enjoy. This way, exercising can be fun. The more you exercise, the more you can reduce depression.

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