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Can exercise stand in for treating depression medically?

Been feeling a bit down lately? The answer to getting your groove back might be simpler than you think; add some exercise to your daily routine. While serious depression should never be taken lightly and definitely be treated by a qualified practitioner, the benefits of working out can certainly have a positive impact on the mental wellbeing of individuals afflicted with this illness. Read on to find out how exercise can help with depression.

Medication isn’t always enough
While psychiatrists are able to prescribe pills that can alleviate an individual’s mood, most people usually find that these substances cause them to become numb to the full sensory experience of life, or have found that taking the medication causes unwanted mental and physical side-effects.

As a result, many patients completely abandon treatment and prescription medication (although this is not recommended) but make no effort to seek alternative solutions.

So how can exercise help?
Even though medication is still required to treat depression, exercise can uplift the patient’s mood in many of the same ways as medication would, by boosting serotonin levels (the chemical that affects our moods, sleep patterns and response to pain) and endorphins, (body chemicals that increase the sense of well-being) among many other happiness-related neurotransmitters.  

Exercise must be tailored in order to treat depression
Studies have found that exercise in whichever form (resistance, cardiovascular or aerobic) is able to aid in the treatment of depression.

While the neurochemical effects of working out are certainly proven valid from both a biological and psychological viewpoint, the fact remains that doing something you enjoy will inevitably make you feel happy.

You thus have free bounds to do whatever physical activity makes you feel good – be it ballet or boxing!

Exercising makes you forget about your problems
Perhaps this is the biggest benefit of working out regularly – the element of escape from your mental qualms offered by focussing on your body.

Next time you’re feeling down, think about making an appointment with a personal trainer!

author: Zone Fitness