There are psychological benefits of fitness and exercise for depression.
Studies show that people who exercise regularly benefit with a positive boost in mood and lower rates of depression.What Are the Psychological Benefits of Exercise With Depression?Improved self-esteem is a key psychological benefit of regular physical activity. When you exercise, your body releases endorphins. These endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain that reduce your perception of pain.Endorphins also trigger a positive feeling in the body“runner's high,” and can be accompanied by a positive and energizing outlook on life.Endorphins act as analgesics, which means they diminish the perception of pain. They also act as sedatives. Regular exercise has been proven to:
- Reduce stress
- Ward off anxiety and feelings of depression
- Boost self-esteem
- Improve sleep
- It strengthens your heart.
- It increases energy levels.
- It lowers blood pressure.
- It improves muscle tone and strength.
- It strengthens and builds bones.
- It helps reduce body fat.
- It makes you look fit and healthy.
Is Exercise a Treatment for Clinical Depression?Research has shown that exercise is an effective but often underused treatment for mild to moderate depression.Are there Types of Exercises That Are Better for Depression?It appears that any form of exercise can help depression. Some examples of moderate exercise include:
- Golf (walking instead of using the cart)
- Housework, especially sweeping, mopping, or vacuuming
- Jogging at a moderate pace
- Low-impact aerobics
- Playing tennis
Because strong social support is important for those with depression, joining a group exercise class may be beneficial.
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