HOW EXERCISE CAN FIGHT YOUR DEPRESSION
Can Depression be Cured?We break down the science behind how sweat can make you happier
Can depression be cured ? Years ago, I wish someone told me to work out in order to reduce depression.
The truth is that I think that I always had a sense that exercise was helpful to me to remove the undercurrent of depression that I have felt my entire life. I remember when I was a kid that my parents bought me a small barbell set for a birthday and I noticed how after doing any type of lifting, I immediately felt a bit better.
I was a sad sack kid and had my reasons that are beyond the scope of this post, but suffice it to say that one of my nicknames was ‘smiley’ because I rarely smiled. At that time, not so much was known about depression and I was just peppered with annoying questions like “Why can’t you just be happy?” that to me were like asking why can’t I just be 7 feet tall or grow blonde hair.
It is just how I felt internally, I got no benefit out of the depression, on the contrary it has been nothing but an anchor around my neck. But I did notice that when I worked out physically, I felt a lot better, even in my head. I was called an ‘extremist’ because when I found that I felt relief from depression by exercising, then I rarely wanted to stop working out.
First I found solace in weights, but I could not do that all day and then playing lots of handball in the Pomonok Project Courts in New York City and then swimming all hours at the Flushing YMCA and finally with gymnastics for over 8 hours a day. I spent all that time working out because it made me feel better, not because I was extreme, it was just the only thing that would give my mind some relief, so I intuitively made the connection that exercise really does fight depression.
Eventually I forgot all about exercise fighting depression as I went into a full time job to earn a living and sunk back into my malaise.