Ultimately, everybody is after happiness, a natural gift that we get when we fulfill our desires. However, life is not a bed of roses and things don’t always go as planned. Various aspects of our lives could lead to depression and anxiety, and this usually ends up leaving a person lethargic and moody. Coercing such a person to hit the gym or take long runs outdoors can be ill-informed as well as annoying. You see, people suffering from bouts of depression and anxiety need understanding more than anything. That said, it’s also a scientific fact that exercising can make a significant difference when you’re feeling depressed. But, not all exercises can work and you must be asking yourself, what are the best workouts to fight depression? Well, today you get all the answers.
Workouts can be as effective as antidepressants in helping people to deal with depression. You can dedicate around 30 minutes each day to exercising although even as little as 15 minutes can improve your mood if done with the right mindset. Experts assert that the more vigorous an exercise is; the less time it will take to lift your moods.
Here are five awesome workouts to ease symptoms of depression.
Yoga has long been used as an alternative approach to reducing depression and anxiety symptoms. Several studies show evidence that participants experienced a reduction in mood disorder, anger, depression, and anxiety. Yoga focuses on both mental and physical wellbeing, and since it targets breathing techniques, experts believe that yoga can play a significant role in fighting depression. If you’re interested, it’s advisable to find a yoga instructor who understands you so that they can be in a better place to offer the most relevant relaxing techniques that are beneficial to your case.
Running is not only a great exercise to fight depression, but also to get you in good shape. You don’t have to push yourself hard because it will only make matters worse. Take your time and find a routine that best suits you. Furthermore, running triggers the release of ‘feel-good’ hormones, serotonin and endorphins, both of which will linger around long after the exercise, leaving a lasting effect. Running doesn’t require much, just a pair of trainers and motivation. With running, it’s easy to measure your progress and you can decide how much training you want to target daily. This flexibility is what makes running one of the best and easiest forms of exercise for people suffering from depression.
Going for Walks
Remember, the aim of exercising is to fight depression and anxiety. Therefore, don’t go for hard exercises that will only leave you drained and stressed. A passive form of exercise such as walking can be a great alternative, especially if you find running a bit straining. Walking outside is effective and scientists suggest that it can help treat mild to moderate symptoms of depression. Walking helps to clear our minds, hence the adage ‘taking a walk to clear my head’. Good scenery has a way of calming the human mind with all the colors, sounds, and smells. These elements stimulate our senses and boost our mood. That’s why a walk outdoors is always recommended. Additionally, taking your pet out for a walk is also a great way to get outdoors.
Nature trails get you closer to plants and trees, and this can also help calm the mind. According to one scientist, decaying trees emit certain chemicals to slow down the decaying process. These chemicals can also slow us down, hence reducing anxiety. Hiking in the woods has a calming effect and research shows that it lowers stress hormone levels. A walk in the woods is away from the noisy, polluted air of urban areas. Hence, if you can, take nature walks more often to improve your mental health and reduce symptoms of depression.
Gardening and Other Chores
Like we mentioned earlier, exercises need not be straining. It’s the simple things that you enjoy doing that matter the most. Research shows that gardening can have a significant impact on fighting depression. Gardening is a moderate physical exercise that is fun, and it can range from planting some seeds, pruning, or mowing your lawn. You don’t have to do a large area, just as much as you feel is sufficient. Likewise, you can take to simple household chores if you don’t have a garden or you live in an urban area. Scrub the walls of your bathroom, clean out your fridge or wash clothes or your favorite carpet, to name just a few. Seeing the results of your efforts can be rewarding and a major motivator.
For others, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) proved to be very helpful when dealing with bouts of depression. Doctors suggest that getting your blood flowing triggers the release of endorphins, which will leave you feeling good. Now, there are many forms of HIIT workouts and it’s best to find the one that you’re comfortable doing. HIIT exercises are short and involve a number of exercises done in sets and repetitions.
As you can see, workouts could be beneficial to your mental health and people with depression are encouraged to try their hands on exercises that they enjoy participating in. If it’s yoga, tai chi, walking, or hiking, find your passion and it could help manage your symptoms of depression and anxiety.
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