Get Moving to Ease Depression and AnxietyIN ORTHOPEDICS
If you suffer with anxiety or depression, getting enough exercise may seem like a daunting task. Exercise, however, can make a big difference in how you feel. It can also help you stay motivated and maintain a more positive outlook.
If you’ve ever suffered from depression or anxiety, you know how frustrating and debilitating these mental health problems can be. Depression can make getting out of bed seem like a chore or make you so anxious that you feel like you can’t calm yourself down. Whatever your symptoms, climbing out of that dark hole can be a challenge. In treating depression or anxiety, your first step should be to consult your doctor. Studies show there is another method that can help, too—exercise.
The Benefits of Endorphins
When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. Endorphins—any of a group of opiate-resembling peptides occurring in the brain and other tissues that react with the brain’s opiate receptors to raise the pain threshold—increase blood flow, energy levels and muscle use, which can reduce stress and improve self-esteem. For example, runners often describe the feeling they get after exercising as euphoric, or a “runner’s high,” which can be accompanied by a positive outlook on life.
Physical activity also has many psychological and emotional benefits. Exercise can help you:
- Get more involved—Joining a gym may give you the chance to meet other people with similar health goals. Receiving a friendly smile at the gym can improve your mood.
- Gain confidence—By reaching your exercise goals, you can boost your self-confidence. Exercising can have a positive impact on your appearance, which can also improve your self-esteem.
- Cope in a healthy way—Trying to feel better by drinking alcohol or binge eating can lead to worsening symptoms. Exercising to manage anxiety or depression is a healthy coping strategy.
Personalizing the Approach
When planning your exercise program, be sure to talk with your doctor about your workout regimen, including how much exercise and what intensity level is best for you. Follow a routine that is easy to maintain. Once you start to feel comfortable with your routine, vary your activities. Exercising 30 minutes or more a day three to five days a week can improve depression symptoms significantly. Remember, exercising should be fun, so choose activities you enjoy.
| Get the Facts
Exercise also has these added benefits, which can result in feeling better and improving self-esteem. Physical activity:
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Sources: sciencedaily.com, webmd.com, medicalnewstoday.com
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