Treating Depression with Exercise

Exercising as a method of treatment for depression

Exercise is vital for anyone suffering from depression, both during the illness and after recovery. Its effects on the body are a powerful force in keeping depression away. Recent research has shown the benefits of the release of the feel-good hormones that are associated with vigorous exercise. Increased energy levels when you exercise regularly will make you feel marvelous. Exercise causes blood sugar to rise and so you are less likely to lack energy, feel hungry and eat sugary snacks.

The heart, the most important muscle of the body, grows stronger and larger with exercise and so can pump more oxygenated blood to the muscles with less effort and fewer beats. This reduces strain on the heart.

When you are unfit, the heart has to work harder and beat much faster to pump the required amount of blood through the system and waste products stay in the body for longer. This can lead to the formation of deposits in the arteries which impede the flow of freshly oxygenated blood to all parts of the body. The heart then has to work even harder to overcome this resistance and so blood pressure is raised and more strain put on the body.

Exercise is both a lifestyle choice and an additional method of treatment. Regular, sustained exercise is a treatment as well as a vital lifestyle choice for those who suffer with depression. Always drink a glass of water shortly before you intend to start exercising and again shortly after you have finished. For maximum health, avoid these toxins: junk food, sugar, added salt. nicotine, caffeine and alcohol.

Ridding the body of toxins
Exercise is vital for the elimination of toxic waste from the body. It stimulates the whole body to function more efficiently and quickly so that waste products are excreted without delay. You may have a few aches and pains in the first few days of exercise as your muscles become accustomed to new challenges. Muscles may ache temporarily as they yield up long-stored lactic acid waste product. These few aches will soon disappear.

Key Facts:

  • Don’t exercise if you have a cold, infection or any illness.
  • Don’t push yourself too hard to set unrealistic targets so that failing to meet them adds to your depression.
  • Don’t exercise in very hot weather, as you may quickly become dehydrated.
  • Don’t use apparatus in a gym or health club without taking the trainer’s advice.
  • Don’t exercise with persistent pain; consult your family doctor about it.