The last thing anyone wants to do when they’re depressed is exercise, but studies have shown that exercise if taken regularly, can be effective at increasing energy levels, reducing feelings of tiredness and taking antidepressants.
Evidence suggests that physical activity, increases the amount of endorphins that can have a positive effect on our mood, reduce stress, improve sleep, improve moods, reduce anxiety, improve concentration and may enhance our view of ourselves.
Regular exercise can also improve the way we look and boost self-esteem. Exercise can also improve focus, so providing us with new goals and a sense of purpose. Participating and getting involved in sport, will not only help us become more active, but will also allow us to meet new people.
Between 20 and 60 minutes of daily exercise can help improve our wellbeing, but shorter bouts of exercise is still beneficial in significantly improving mood. People living with depression are recommended to participate in a more structured and supervised exercise programme of up to three sessions per week, for between 10 and 12 weeks. Referral is by GP.
Aerobic exercises such as a brisk walk, cycling, jogging and swimming are all good exercises for helping treat depression. Exercises such as weight lifting although not a mood enhancing sport, may still be useful for helping to build a better self-image.