Movement and exercise can have an enormous impact on your mood and mental wellbeing. In fact, it is thought that exercise can be just as effective as anti-depressants in treating mild-to-moderate depression. Not only can exercise and movement help in treating depression, it can also prevent people from becoming depressed again (lockdown 2)… So it’s important to keep up an exercise regimen or some light movement daily. Your daily exercise doesn’t have to be a 5 mile run or an intense online hiit class, it could be a brisk dog walk, some light stretching, or an online yoga/pilates class just move your body daily and you will feel 100% better for it.
Daily exercise can:
- increase your energy levels
- help you get a good night’s sleep
- distract you from your worries and get you out of a cycle of negative thoughts that can feed anxiety and depression
- help you get out and be around other people if you’re feeling lonely; even a smile as you pass someone on the street can boost your mood
- increase your confidence as you reach fitness/weight goals, no matter how small, as well as helping you to feel good about your body.
This may be because daily movement helps chronic depression and anxiety by increasing serotonin (which helps your brain regulate mood, sleep and appetite) or brain-derived neurotrophic factor (which helps neurons to grow).
Reasons to get outside for some movement TODAY-
- Exercise reduces immune system chemicals that can make depression worse.
- Exercise increases your level of endorphins, which are natural mood lifters.
- Exercise helps by getting your sleep patterns back to normal. We know getting enough sleep can protect the brain from damage and generally more sleep makes you feel great.
- Exercise gives you a focused activity that can help you feel a sense of accomplishment and purpose which can lift mood.
- Exercise limits the effect of stress on your brain.