Wondering how much physical activity will improve your mental health? It is probably not as much as you are thinking. You don’t need to be investing hours out of your hectic schedule to go at the gyms, sweat buckets, and run miles. The frequency of exercise is more important than the duration or intensity of exercise. You can receive all the physical and mental health benefits of exercise with only 30-minutes of normal exercise five times a week.
Exercise is not solely about your muscle size and your aerobic capacity. But the primary aim of doing exercise is to improve our health and physique. It’s equally significant to trim our expanding waistline properly and even to include more active years in our possible lives naturally. Those people who exercise regularly tend to be more energetic throughout their whole day. They sleep better at night, maintain keen memories, and they feel too relaxed and positive about their lives. Exercise is equally considered as an effective medicine for many common mental health problems. Those people who do exercise on a daily basis are less prone to develop various diseases, including depression, anxiety, ADHD, Hypertension, Diabetes, arthritis.
Research shows exercise can generate a massive difference in our body by altering our metabolism system. No matter what age we are or our fitness level, we cause use exercise as a useful tool to feel better and to enjoy an active life. Many studies on depression, anxiety, and exercise show that a variety of physical benefits of exercise can help in improving mood and to reduce anxiety. The links between depression, anxiety, and exercise aren’t very much clear yet, but the scientists are working.
Exercise will also serve as a powerful depression fighter for many reasons. Most importantly, it helps in neural growth, reduced inflammation. And can also initiate new activity patterns that enhance the feelings of calm and well-being. It also aids in reducing depression by inducing the release of endorphins that is the potent chemicals in our brain that help us to feel good. And also help by taking away the negative thoughts from our minds. Continual exercise will provide us with physiological, psychological, and emotional satisfaction. It boosts confidence that encourages us to socialize and interact with other peoples of our community.
Recent studies show exercise can help treat low to moderate depression as effectively as antidepressant medication and even without any type of side-effects. Recently, the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that running for only 15 minutes a day or walking for an hour reduces almost 26% risk of significant depression. In addition to reducing depression symptoms, it was also observed that maintaining an exercise schedule can help you to prevent relapsing.
The following are the few exercises that help in reducing depression.
To fight depression running is one of the most energetic workouts along with aerobic and cardio exercises. Running will increase the release of the chemical “endorphin” from the brain’s special glands considered as the body’s natural morphine. It will reduce pain levels and enhance the feeling of joy or well-being.
Studies show that out of 65 women with depression, the 34 women who did yoga twice a week for almost two months showed a significant decrease in depression symptoms than that of the remaining 31 women. Doctors suggest that starting yoga in your home is very important so that you can be sure you’re doing the movements and poses appropriately.
Like yoga, Tai Chi is another type of Eastern tradition that helps the Chinese people to keep themselves free from depression. Chinese patients with depression who took tai chi for three-months showed a significant improvement in their symptoms.
Walking is an aerobic exercise that’s best suited for almost everyone, regardless of their age. All you have to do is wear a pair of casual, supportive shoes, and you’re prepared to go. If depression has made you sedentary, start walking that will relieve you a lot.
One of the effortless ways to reduce depression is simply enjoying external activities that can be gardening, throwing a ball around with kids, or washing even your car. It will help you a lot in improving your mood because of the sunlight. It can stimulate the serotonin levels that help us to feel good.
Bouncing represents an easy way to oxygenate your brain that will ultimately increase the levels of endorphin and help in reducing depression.
The mechanisms behind the antidepressant effects of exercise remain in debate. However, the effectiveness of exercise in decreasing symptoms of depression has been very well established. By making a few changes in our lifestyles, we can save ourselves from a variety of diseases.
Arooba Azeem is a student of BS biochemistry, Quaid e Azam University Islamabad. She is an active member of the management team(QDLs) of debating and literary societies of her University. Her particular hobbies are cooking and book reading.