Exercise to boost your mood!
A study conducted by researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital found that as little as 35 minutes of physical activity a day can help prevent new depressive episodes, even if you’re at genetic risk of having depression.
From a young age, children are taught about the benefits of fitness. Still, the motivation to exercise can be hard to obtain, especially if one has “the bules.”
Moreover, knowing that something is good for the mind and body and/or being told by a loved one to do something about a depressive state, can have the exact opposite impact.
Of course, the pharmaceutical companies love people to just sit and wait for the meds to “kick in” as they watch profits soar. Although, anti-depressant drugs have been through the toughest of FDA scrutiny before reaching millions of medicine cabinets across America, these drugs still take weeks if not several months to reach the appropriate therapeutic dosage, while simultaneously wreaking havoc with side effects as sever as suicidal ideation. When looking at the choice to take a drug designed to relieve depression that could actually spiral the same sad state out of control, a drug that could take a month or longer verses a prescription to exercise, it is disheartening that so many choose the former to raise their spirits.
Anyone who has seen people post-exercise class, run, brisk walk or bike ride gets to see a person smile that they accomplished the task of exercise. They typically have a glow, a smile and an excited positive energy. That can be accomplished in one day. Why wait a month to see if a drug improves depression while common side effects like headaches, diarrhea, loss of sleep etc.…loom around the corner?
In an effort to advocate for outdoor exercise, research has shown that “green space” exercise improves mental health. This study suggests that exercising in nature gives a quick and significant boost to your mental health. Researchers analyzed 10 British studies encompassing a total of more than 1,200 participants involved in outdoor activities such as cycling, walking, horseback riding, and fishing.
One last thing to keep in mind is to be careful not to set unrealistic expectations. This is about improving mood, not losing weight. Even a brisk 5-minute walk to start can improve the circulation of healthy hormones with an end result of feeling better!