Exercise for healthy body and mind
It may seem impossible to get moving when you feel depressed. One reason to stay active is that you can get some immediate relief, even if you can only manage 10 or 15 minutes of exercise. Some studies have shown that exercise can improve your mood for up to 12 hours.
Studies have shown that exercise can help with depression because it:
- Increases your energy
- Increases self-esteem
- Provides a distraction from your worries
- Improves your health and body, which can help lift your mood
- Helps you get rid of built-up stress and frustration
Keep it simple
The key to staying active when you are feeling low is to keep it simple…
- Set simple goals. It doesn’t take much exercise to lift your mood, so you don’t have to train for a marathon. Set a goal to walk around the block. Promise yourself you’ll walk around the block at least 3 times that day. The next day, do more. Try to improve just a little bit each day.
- Go easy on yourself. You might not be able to handle a lot of exercise, so try to feel good about what you can do. Whether you get out and work in the yard, take the dog for a walk or go up and down the stairs a few times, it all counts. Now is not the time to kick yourself.
- Do what you usually enjoy. When you’re depressed, it’s hard to enjoy anything, but think about what you normally like when you’re not depressed. If yoga feels good to you, spend a few minutes going through a few simple stretches. If you like fresh air, go for a walk or a bike ride. You may not enjoy it in the moment, but even a small change in your mood can make a difference.
- Make it social. Try to find a friend to walk with. Talking to people can help raise your energy and remind you that you’re not alone.
- Go outside. Even a little sunshine can help boost your mood and remind you that there’s a world out there. You can participate in it as much as you can