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February 5, 2023

Help Depression With These Exercises

Posted In: Fitness & Wellness

Those dark, overcast days of winter in Totowa, NJ, can trigger depression and leave you feeling in a funk. These exercises can help fight that depression and even reverse it. While severe depression requires professional help, exercise can overcome the blahs that often hit us when the sky is overcast and the weather is foul. Exercise is now a viable adjunct therapy that many psychiatrists and psychologists use to help speed the recovery process.

Boost your circulation and burn off stress hormones.

Any exercise that gets your blood circulating helps burn off stress hormones, while improving circulation. Improved circulation sends oxygen and nutrient laden blood to all parts of the body, including the brain. Sometimes, that may all you need to shake off the blahs and get you back on track. If you’re doing a tough workout, your hormones take an additional step to make you feel better. You’ve probably heard of runner’s high. It comes from hormones that are released during a hard workout to help your body get through the running or fighting phase. They make you feel good and are natural pain relievers.

Just get moving.

If you’re living a sedentary lifestyle, starting out with a tough HIIT—high intensity interval training—workout can leave you feeling sore and in a worse mood. Even if you’re fit, foul moods and depression don’t always come at a time when you can go to the gym and sweat your way to a better mood. What can you do instead? Just get moving. Take a walk, go up and down the stairs or do some chair exercises until you feel better. You’ll help burn off the hormones of stress no matter what you do.

If you’re fit, strength training brings quick relief.

While cardio workouts do help, don’t overlook strength training for an emotional lift. Strength training, like many types of exercise, provides both short term benefits and long term ones. Studies show it not only boosts your feeling of well-being, but it also improves your posture and self-image by making you feel stronger and more capable of handling daily problems. Don’t worry about building big muscles if you’re a woman. Because of hormones, you’ll just tone your body for a lean svelte look. If you’re older or have joint problems, consider a low impact workout like swimming, bicycling, kettlebells or yoga.

  • Balance your workouts. You need strength training, cardio and flexibility training. Even though strength training is good, only do it once every 48 to 72 hours. One the other days, do cardo, flexibility or other type of workout.
  • Yoga and tai chi are slow meditative ways to get exercise. They both offer deep breathing techniques and intentional movements to help regulate stress and bring a sense of relaxation.
  • If you’re at home and busy cleaning, make it more fun, while getting mood altering exercise. Turn on the music and clean with vigor to songs like, What a Feeling, I Will Survive, Eye of the Tiger or Jumpin’ Jumpin’.
  • Whether you’re walking, lifting weights or doing bodyweight exercises, you can modify the intensity by alternating between high intensity and a slower more moderate intensity, turning the workout into a HIIT exercise that gets results faster.

For more information, contact us today at Prime Fitness Studio