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Exercise: The no. 1 prescription for depression

You’re feeling tired and stressed or depressed and anxious, so you do less because you ‘can’t be bothered’. You feel more drained, down and now useless simply because you haven’t done anything. This leads onto you doing even less and rapidly being caught up in this damaging cycle.

Initially, it can be painfully unattainable to ‘get up’ and do something active – especially when you are suffering from these particular mind imbalances. You may feel that you just don’t have the energy. Or that your confidence is non-existent. It can also be as simple as you just do not have the right clothes or equipment, or the time to be able to exercise. However, once you have broken through these barriers, it may lead you on to a happier mind, body and overall wellbeing. Overcome those barriers!

If you are tired, exercise actually gives you energy. If you are worried or anxious, exercise can clear your mind of any problems or concerns you may have. The mind can’t function unless your body is working properly.

Physical activity has a proven track record of positively impacting our mood, and can be, in some cases an alternative treatment for depression and anxiety (but only if it’s regular). You just need to be smart about your activities and exercise. If you haven’t done anything in a while you will become more tired after ‘working out’, so don’t overdo it. Push yourself, but make sure it’s specifically relevant and achievable to you – it’s about being practical, and negotiating some sort of agreement between your mind and body. You don’t have to go and run a marathon!

Here’s five important facts that show how physical activity helps towards a healthy mind

  1. Clinically proven to reduce stress (better than a hot bath and glass of wine!! although you may not want to hear that)
  2. Alleviates anxiety
  3. Boosts Brainpower (which can be immensely affected during episodes of depression and anxiety)
  4. Exercise is a mood stabilizer
  5. Fitness and exercise is proven to boost self-worth and esteem