"It is exercise alone that supports the spirits, and keeps the mind in vigor." Marcus Tullius Cicero
When we talk about the benefits of exercising and staying active, having a healthy heart and reducing your risk of injury are among the top things on the list. However, it is said that exercise also plays a key role in managing your depression/anxiety.
Research suggests that people who exercise regularly are more cheerful than the ones who don’t. Have you ever wondered why? How does exercising help boost your mood? How does working out help your psychological wellbeing?
This is because of the release of endorphins. Endorphins are chemicals produced by the central nervous system to relieve pain and stress. When you work out, different chemicals get released into your body, one of them is endorphins. Endorphins work on the receptors of your brain to reduce pain and provide a boost of positivity.
Hence, regular workouts can help treat mild/moderate depression as well as battle anxiety. Incorporating exercise into your lifestyle allows you to keep your mental health in check. According to researchers, 3 exercises can help reduce symptoms of depression.
- Running or walking
The most celebrated exercise for combining physical and mental wellbeing is running. In addition to losing weight and being fit, running increases mental flexibility, confidence, and stress relief. If you’re ever stuck and need motivation, the clarity and expansion one feels post-run, also called ‘runner’s high,’ shall do the trick. Outdoor exercise can be extremely beneficial and is used to cure mild depression, but running on the treadmill has the same effect. Spending 30 mins on a treadmill is enough to lift the mood of someone suffering from a major anxiety disorder. Running makes it easy for you to fall asleep, prevents cognitive decline, and boosts brain power.
Yoga is an ancient Indian treatment considered by many as a religious practice. Whether you do it for religious reasons or to be peaceful, yoga is an exercise for young and old alike. The art of practicing yoga allows control over one's mind, body, and soul. It includes both mental and physical disciplines to attain a peaceful aura. Moreover, it assists in reducing stress and anxiety while keeping your body active and in control. Its physical benefits include an increase in flexibility, strength, and body tone. Yoga also improves creativity, concentration, and sharpens our memory. Yoga also allows you to improve your balance, keep your focus and fight depression. It improves sleep and provides a more positive outlook towards your life. Not only does it help build self-control but also uplifts your mood, helping you enjoy the finer things in life. These few benefits contribute towards a healthier and more respectable lifestyle.
- Resistance Training
Resistance training involves pushing/pulling against some force, whether that’s free weights, bodyweight, or machines. It focuses on improving your strength/building muscle which in turn offers a wide range of positive effects to your body. Apart from the physical effects, resistance training helps with memory function, anxiety levels, improved cognition and provides a better chance of fighting depression and chronic fatigue. It’s an excellent way to boost self-esteem and confidence.