Benefits of Physical Activity for People with Depression

Benefits of Physical Activity for People with Depression

Know Different Benefits of Physical Activity for Your Mind

It is no hidden secret that exercise is fuel to the body and is great for its overall functioning. Though we mainly exercise to keep ourselves fit, there are other benefits of physical activity. For example, exercising regularly helps to address mood swings, depression, mental health, and anxiety.

Depression might have been a taboo word in the earlier times when there was less awareness about mental health, but today, it is quite an acceptable term in society. Many people go through a phase of depression in their life, and it is NORMAL to feel that way. The only thing people suffering from depression do wrong is sit by it and do ‘Nothing’. Accepting your condition is undoubtedly one of the first steps you take towards progress, but you also need to take a few corrective measures to ace through this process and come out as a stronger human being.

More Physical Activity and Lesser Sitting Time Heals Depression

A study was conducted in the UK on students and staff at the University of Huddersfield during the lockdown in 2020. As per the study results, those who were busy with moderate or high physical activity, along with low sitting time, got a better well-being score than those who were comparatively less active and had more sitting time. Dr Liane Azevedo, one of the experts conducting the study, says that the mental well-being of participants who were sitting without activity for more than eight hours was the most affected.

The experts also found that in the case of those sitting idle for long hours, compensating by indulging in physical activities like exercise was found to be beneficial for their mental health. They came to the conclusion that reducing sitting time and participating in some kind of physical activity has a positive impact on your mental well-being.

How Physical Activity Can Help People With Depression?

Exercise is surely one of the biggest factors that improve physical health and overall outer physique, like trimming your waistline etc. Still, exercise can offer more. You must have noticed, people who regularly exercise are the ones who have an enormous strong feeling of well-being. Throughout the day, they feel way more energetic, sleep better at night, have a better memory, can think better, and are happier in their lives. Therefore, exercise is the most powerful medicine, which can help in solving plenty of mental health challenges.

Regular and consistent exercise can have a strong and positive impact on depression as exercising helps alleviate stress and is a proven mood buster. You need not be a fitness maniac to keep up with your mental health. Rather, you only have to spend 45 minutes to 1 hour all by yourself and move. Simple walking or jogging every day can help transform yourself. Regardless of the fitness level, age, gender etc., one should learn to use exercise as a significant tool to deal with depression and live a satisfying life.

As per the studies, exercise can treat mild to moderate depression issues more effectively than antidepressants. The best advantage is that the antidepressant medication might have side effects, but exercise can never have! We can cite plenty of examples to prove it, and one is below.

Recently a study that was done by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health made a claim that simply running for at least 10 to 15 minutes a day or walking for 1 hour a day helps reduce the risks associated with depression by 26%. Apart from just relieving the depression symptoms, some studies show that having a strict exercise schedule can help prevent the relapse of depression or other related mental health problems.

Benefits of Physical Activity for People with Depression

Exercise – Powerful Fighter for Depression

Exercise of any form is considered to be one of the most powerful depression fighters. Most importantly, exercising is so beneficial because it helps promote changes inside the brain, which includes neural growth. This reduces inflammation and also leads to new patterns of activity in the brain. As a result, these activities promote the feeling of well-being, calmness and happiness. In addition, exercising releases endorphins, which are powerful chemicals that form inside the brain. These chemicals help in energizing the spirits and makes the person feel good about themselves.

However, that’s not the end when we talk about exercise and benefits of physical activity. Unknowingly, exercising also acts as a distraction, allowing individuals to break from the hustle-bustle of life and a pool of negative thoughts in which they are forever drowning. Exercising also relieves a significant amount of stress and tension, which today, all of us go through every day. Not only does exercising physically boost energy, but it also gives a positive push to mental energy.

Any physical movement can help you strongly, but it will give you a better advantage if you pay attention to your every movement. For example, if you are walking, try and notice the sensation while your feet hit the ground, concentrate on your breathing, or feel the wind flowing through your skin. These are known as mindful elements, which help you focus on your body and witness how you react while exercising. This way, you will not just improve your physical fitness, but you will also be able to own your worries and thoughts, which lead to depression.

Other Benefits of Physical Activity for People With Depression

Higher Self Esteem

When a person is going through depression, their self-esteem goes for a toss. Regular physical activity is an investment you make for your mind, soul and body. When physical activity becomes a habit, it helps to foster a feeling of self-worth, making you feel powerful and stronger. You will feel confident about your appearance. Every day if you feel small and have simple exercise goals, you will get a sense of achievement from yourself.

Better Sleep

Even a few minutes of effective exercise in the day can help in improving your sleep pattern. Getting quality sleep is directly proportional to a stable mind. For someone who is already not stable mentally, sleeping is one of the most important activities.

More Energy

Exercising leads to an increase in the heart rate. Specially indulging in physical activity in the morning gives a kick-start to the body and prepares it well for the entire day. Moreover, exercising regularly helps the mind to be stable, which is essential for healing depression.

As we saw, there are plenty of benefits of physical activity, the most important one being the ability to fight depression.

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