How Exercise Helps Fight Depression

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Feb 24, 2012

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Mostly people use the word ‘depression’ as a synonym for an extreme state of unhappiness and distress. A depressed person loses  interest in daily activities, is unable to concentrate, has low energy levels, low self-esteem and one can notice significant change in body weight. Fortunately, depression can be easily treated with combination of therapies and medication. One of the effective tools against depression is exercise. It strengthens mind-body connection and helps to fight depression.

According to a study published in the Journal of Preventive Medicine, to fight depression a minimum of half an hour exercise three days a week is needed. This study compared two groups of depressed patients and found that patient who had exercise 80 minutes  in a week had very little mental health benefit. On the contrary, the patients who put in 3-4 hours of their time to exercise on weekly basis had substantial reduction in symptoms of depression.The study further revealed that the remission rate of the latter group of patients was so good that it could be compared to people who undergo depression treatments such as drug and cognitive behaviour therapies.


Benefits of Exercise during Depression

  • When you exercise your body gets rid of build-up stress hormones. As a result it improves overall well-being of individual and brings relief from headaches, problems sleeping, loss of concentration and fatigue.
  • By exercising, concentration level of person increases. With enhanced confidence and sense of achievement person is able to focus on present goals as well as set new goals.This helps in gaining a perspective in life and heading in a new positive direction.
  • While exercising body produces endorphins. This chemical instantly makes you feel happier. The fact that this effect lasts even after exercising makes exercises most effective for easing depression.
  • By exercising you can become fit, look healthier and boost-up your self esteem.
  • Exercise brings in feeling of relief in depressed patients. This is because endorphins increase positive energy in body.
  • With regular exercise you can ward of anxiety, fear, stress and even improve your sleep. All this helps to fight depression.
  • If you exercise outside the home then you will also be benefited by change of scene. This will change your mood and help to ward off depression.


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