Getting physical and active can boost your mood and one simple way to get that benefit is by walking or running. Studies show that there’s a direct correlation between staying active and depression, so much so, many mental health care professionals use exercise as an adjunct treatment for people who are depressed. If you’ve ever experienced a day when you simply feel funky and a little depressed, but find that once you get going and get out, that mood seems to disappear, you understand how just moving and getting out can help.
Stress can cause depression and running or other physical activity helps burn off the hormones of stress.
Blame it on the caveman for that response. Way back when, that fight or flight response came in very handy. It prepared the body to take flight or stay and fight with enemies or predators. Today, stress has many faces. It can be a rude clerk and crowded stores when shopping, a traffic jam or just a crazy computer that has a mind of its own. Fighting or running just isn’t appropriate in these cases, but the brain still sends hormones that prepare the body to do just that. If those hormones aren’t burnt off by running or fighting, it can result in mental changes, such as depression or anxiety. Running is a great way to burn them off and get the beneficial rewards for good health in the process.
Don’t be surprised if your doctor or mental health care professional prescribes exercise.
Medical science is now looking into many of the wise beliefs that came from the past, but never proven. Studies are now showing it’s true. Not only can exercise, such as running, help lift the cloud of depression, it can also help prevent it from returning. It boosts energy levels, improves circulation and even aids in better sleep. Best of all, the only side effect exercise has is a healthier, fitter you.
What causes some cases of depression?
One cause of depression comes from low self-esteem. When you feel bad about yourself, it’s hard to put on a smile and face the world. When you go running, workout or even walk, it helps you look better and feel better physically. It aids in improving posture, while also improving self-esteem. That alone could be of benefit. Exercise does even more. It boosts the serotonin your body makes. Serotonin not only regulates your sleep, it also affects your appetite and your mood.
- Running, and other forms of exercise, boost the creation of endorphins, the feel good hormones. It slows the production of chemicals that affect your immune system, causing you to feel more depressed.
- Sticking with a regimen of exercise, even when you don’t want to do it, you start to feel you can accomplish more. Feeling that way starts you on the road to feeling better about yourself.
- Running gets you out of the house and often just changing your environment can make a difference. You’ll see people as you run and every block will help make depression melt away and take your mind off your worries.
- I can help you with a program of exercise that can also include running. Not only will the exercise make you feel great, the program will have specific goals and as you achieve each, you’ll feel even better.