Does exercise really work for depression?
Do you suffer with depression or a low mood?
Current cutting edge research says that…
- Exercise is as effective for mild to moderate depression as medication and psychotherapy and may enhance the effect of these therapies
- Exercise not only prevents the onset of depression but will also reduce recurrence or relapse
- Aerobic exercise or muscular strength training are beneficial for depression
- 4 weeks of aerobic exercise improves function in major depressive disorder combined with medication and may lead to a reduction in the dose required (never change your medication without consulting your doctor first)
- Genetic polymorphisms can vary an individual’s response to exercise
- Increasing daily sedentary time by 32 minutes/day without reducing exercise, for 2 weeks adversely affects mood which is thought to be due to a stress related inflammatory response
- 6 months of aerobic exercise improves memory and reduces brain atrophy in early alzheimers disease!
Exercise is beneficial in depression as it regulates inflammation, oxidation, and the generation of new brain cells.
Of-course fatigue is a common symptom of depression and you may find it difficult to form and maintain an exercise habit when you are feeling low. So here is a simple check list to help empower you to make a change! Remember it doesn’t matter if you fail, just keep trying until you reach your goal!
3 Step Checklist
- Make your exercise goal a smart goal (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely). For example: I will go for a 30 minute walk once a day for the next 4 weeks
- Mark down your activity on your calendar each day when you have achieved it! Be sure to set yourself a reward when you achieve your goal. For example: at the end of week 2 and week 4 I will treat myself to a massage
- Write down any challenges or obstacles that might stand in the way of you achieving your goal and brainstorm strategies to overcome these
Choose an activity that will be as pleasurable as possible, personally I prefer swimming to going to the gym, you might like a particular sport or a simple walk. Ask a friend to join you and support each other to reach the goal. Keep a mood/exercise diary so that you can track your progress as it is important to see progress to boost your motivation and commitment to maintaining your exercise habit.
Take advantage of individualised holistic health today with your Australia wide naturopath servicing Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Melbourne, Darwin, Perth, Glen Innes and the New England area, Inverell, Armidale, Emmaville, Uralla, Surry Hills or where ever you are travelling from with online skype consults available.
Disclaimer: This post is educational only and is not a substitute for personal health advice. If you have a low mood or are suffering with depression please see your healthcare provider for personal health advice. Do not change any part of your prescribed treatment without seeking advice from your healthcare provider.
**If you are in a crisis contact Life Line on 13 11 14
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