If you have a negative reaction to many drugs or simply are looking for something more natural to lift your spirits and overcome depression, there are alternatives. I often hear people in Alexandria, VA, who choose diet and exercise, plus counseling if necessary to overcome the problem. There is scientific backing that workouts for depression can help. In fact, some psychiatrists and psychologist use it as an adjunct therapy.
Exercise helps boost your circulation.
While a healthy diet and exercise won’t cure everything, it certainly can help. Health care professionals are now discovering you don’t have to take chemicals, since the body makes its own. When you workout hard, you’ll burn off the hormones of stress. Sometimes, just relieving the stress is all you need. The body also creates natural pain relievers like endorphins and has a reward system using dopamine, that also helps you feel better emotionally. The increased circulation also brings oxygen and nutrient laden blood to all parts of the body, including the brain.
You don’t have to get fancy.
If you run, you’ll get the increased heart pounding circulation, but you don’t have to run to help lift your spirits. Running 30 minutes a day can be a good prescription for mild depression. Always consult a medical professional to provide other types of counseling. Just walking more can also help lift depression. Studies show that just walking 30 minutes a day helps if you do it regularly. As you get fitter, you can increase the pace.
Bust out the weights and start strength training.
Numerous studies also show the benefits of strength training for depression relief. One study on stroke survivors studied the effects of strength training. The results were impressive. After ten weeks, the survivors had benefits from the training that included the reduction of the signs of depression. It was a combination of the exercise and the feeling of control and mastery that lifted the mood of even those most depressed. Following the progress of muscle mastery and increased strength was an important factor.
- Even milder exercise like tai chi and yoga are good for depression. The improved flexibility and slow focused movements even help people with major depression. Both have shown to make significant improvement for people that were depressed.
- If you’re not ready for formal training, turn on the music. Put on your favorite motivational music like St. Elmo’s Fire or happy songs like Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows are great for dancing, but you should choose your own favorite.
- Aerobic exercises tend to be the best for lifting spirits. Make everyday tasks an opportunity to get that cardio workout. Alternate between high intensity and recovery by modulating your pace.
- Focusing on exercise can also help you sleep better. The better your sleep can help you have a happier life. Include antidepressant foods like walnuts, tomatoes, leafy greens and mushrooms in your diet, too.
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