Winter Blues Tip 10: Regular exercise beats depression

by Marsha Stopa

Whether your blues are seasonal or chronic, help may be as close as your walking shoes.

Regular exercise has been shown to improve mood in people with mild to moderate depression in studies stretching back to 1981. It helps with severe depression as well.

Better than drugs

Some studies show that exercise works as well – or better than – antidepressants for some people. And, the helpful effect lasted longer than drugs, if people kept exercising.

This is likely no news flash for most of you. Forgive me, but it bears repeating. Exercise works. Like light therapy, it’s a holistic, natural way to send the winter blues packing.

What does it take?

Thirty-five minutes of fast walking five times a week or 60 minutes three times a week to blunt mild to moderate depression. Stretching 15 minutes a day five times a week is good for you but doesn’t help depression as much.

Don’t want to walk in the cold? Pick an equivalent exercise – treadmill, elliptical trainer, stationery bike, whatever. Get your heart rate up. 35 minutes, five times per week.

Start slow, build up

Load some music, podcasts, lectures or audio classes into the MP3 player or iPod. Feed your mind or your soul while you condition your heart, your muscles and refresh your spirit.

Breathe deeply. Repeat. You can do this.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Treatments For Depression March 31, 2012

Yes i agree totally with this, the excercise is even more effective than antidepressants in treatment for depression.
Treatments For Depression´s last blog post ..Self Improvement Method

2 Marsha Stopa April 3, 2012

And it’s so natural. It’s what we’re born to do — move.
Thank you.

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