Saturday, December 1, 2018

Combatting Depression and Anxiety with the Power of Exercise

With over 17% of Americans admitting to suffering from depression and anxiety each year, it is likely that you or someone you know may currently be dealing with the struggle.

If you’ve ever experienced either of these issues, you know the pain of carrying around a heavy burden that doesn’t easily go away.

Unlike a simple case of bad day blues that can be cured with a hot bath, a chat with a good friend, and a glass of wine, true depression sinks deep into your inner being and drags you down.  While anxiety forces you to hold unreasonable expectations that are almost impossible to come to achieve.

When you feel at your absolute lowest, it becomes harder and harder to find the motivation and strength to get up in the morning, let alone maintain a fitness routine.  It is at these points when taking care of your health and fitness is the best, most crucial thing you can do to restore balance and vibrance back into life.

The body, mind, and spirit are not separate entities, and if one of them slips out of balance, the others will follow.

By implementing regular exercise into their lifestyle, depressed and anxious individuals can significantly alleviate symptoms and experience long-lasting relief.  Research supports that regular structured exercise relieves depressive and anxious feelings by releasing endorphins that combat these difficult issues.  When paired with the guidance of a qualified medical professional, exercise can provide the structure necessary to decrease negative symptoms and improve overall quality of life. 

And the good news is that all sorts of exercise modalities are beneficial for combatting these challenges— whether you prefer walking, jogging, running, yoga, lifting weights, or anything else, if you’re moving your body regularly, you are on the right track.

If your lifestyle is currently more sedentary, then introducing 20 minutes of exercise at least 3 times per week can trigger a significant improvement in alleviating depression. Once you are more comfortable with exercise, you can increase to 30 minutes or more for 5-7 days per week.

Just 20-30 minutes a day — that is all it takes to BEGIN the journey toward improvement.

Just think of all the things you spend 20-30 minutes doing, and be honest with yourself — is your overall health and well-being important enough to dedicate 20-30 minutes of your time to caring for yourself?

Hopefully the answer is a resounding YES — you ARE worth it!

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