Fighting Depression with Exercise is not a new idea.
Exercise is not a depression cure-all.
But, a new study published in the Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology found that exercise promotes happiness.
More physically active people reported greater general feelings of excitement when compared to less-active people.
Exercise may also reduce stress and help you get a better night’s sleep.
That’s why your favorite fitness routine can be an excellent addition to your depression treatment plan.
“Exercise stimulates the release of many of the brain chemicals thought to be in low supply when someone is battling depression,” explains David Muzina, MD, the founding director of the Cleveland Clinic Center for Mood Disorders Treatment and Research.
The question is which workouts work best in fighting depression with exercise?
The answer is whatever gets you moving!
Can you walk?
Start walking 30 minutes to an hour a day.
You prefer to run?
Rowing, swimming, weightlifting, tennis, whatever it is, get moving!
Get out of your home and get moving.
A couple of years ago, I met a man who asked me if I could call a childhood friend of his and help him out of his depression.
Immediately I said yes, and called his friend.
The man had told me that his friend had been stagnating and wasting away in his apartment for over 15 years subsequent to his divorce and the estrangement from his children.
I understand the pain of both and implored him to consider just a walk every day, just to get outside of the room he had been sitting in for over a decade.
He did not want to.
He said several times, maybe , but at the end of the day, he did not want to move.
He did not want to get up and start moving physically and metaphorically beyond his pain.
I explained to him how much just moving would help him, but it was to no avail.
Unfortunately, as far as I know, he continues to take medications and continues to suffer over a past that cannot be changed and over a present that is not what he wanted.
As I said to him, so I say to you and myself, just get up and get moving.
It does not matter what exercise you do, but at the minimum start walking and for strength I like to suggest pushups as well.
Look at what the Blackdog institute reported as a donation drive:
NEWS RELEASE 15 November 2011
BLACK DOG PUSHUPS TO TACKLE DEPRESSION
A Canberra man who has been fighting a battle against depression is doing 3,000 pushups in three
hours to raise funds for the Black Dog Institute and awareness of depression.
I doubt that 3,000 pushups is a realistic number for most of us.
But, why not shoot for a bare minimum.
I like 100.
Whatever you like, 100 or 1,000, you will definitely feel better!
Bill Lockley will undertake his challenge from 6:00am to 9:00am on Thursday 17 November at the
corner of Martin Place and Elizabeth Street in Sydney.
“I love pushups and I hate depression, so doing one to fight the other was a natural fit,” Lockley
“All year I’ve been engaged in a running battle against depression. I’ve had good days and bad
days, but one thing that always seemed to help me keep the black dog at bay was getting regular
I can only validate and concur with Bill Lockley’s statement.
Keeping the black dog of depression away is a lot easier by getting regular exercise.
Pushups are not the only way, but all you need is yourself and a floor, what is more convenient than that?
Even if you can only do 1 pushup, start there and gradually add on.
When I first started doing pushups, I could only do one.
As your body gets stronger, so will your mind.
“It was a self test from the Black Dog Institute that convinced me to seek further help earlier this
year, so I wanted to do something to help them reach others struggling with depression.
“I know that exercise can have a very positive effect on people facing depression. Doing 3,000
pushups in three hours is how I choose to get exercise, but if you aren’t quite up to that, there are
plenty of other ways to let exercise lift your mood.
Around one in five Australians will suffer from a mood disorder in their lifetime.
For some people it will be an isolated occurrence. However, the reality is that for many people, it will
be an ongoing challenge throughout their lives that will also impact loved ones around them.
The Black Dog Institute is a not-for-profit organisation helping people with mood disorders and by
undertaking this initiative we know we are helping those impacted to enjoy a normal life.
The Institute has an international reputation for its outstanding research while at the same time
operates a clinic for people with mood disorders at its Randwick facility as well as extensive
community programs and education and training for health professionals, including GPs.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:
Contact: Bill Lockley: Mobile: 0425 299850 Email: email@example.com or Ian Dose (M)
0419 618 606 firstname.lastname@example.org
Fighting Depression with Exercise – A Man Swaps Pills for Pushups!
Another story which appeared on the web about fighting depression with exercise and specifically pushups is below:
By: SSRI Editor
Thursday 10 November 2011
A BATTLE against the blues has led a Lesbury man to swap medication for membership of a local gym – with remarkable results, not only for his mental health, but also his weight.
David Hawkins has suffered from serious depression since the age of 18 but now, aged 50, he is getting his life back on track thanks to regular workouts at Village Farm Health Club and Spa in Shilbottle.
And in the process he’s shed an incredible nine stone, which has been a further massive boost to his confidence.
David, of Lealands, said his struggle to cope began towards the end of his teens.
“There was a history of depression in my family and both my father and grandfather suffered from it,” he said. “I don’t know why it happened to me to begin with, perhaps it is a genetic predisposition.
“I then went on to have a career in sales and worked in a very high-pressure environment, which didn’t help matters.
“You were only ever as good as your last sale and in the end I was made redundant. It was devastating.”
Like so many other people fighting depression, David went to his doctor and was prescribed medication.
But while it stabilised his emotions, he found it having an increasingly negative impact on his life as time wore on.
“After many years of taking many different kinds of anti-depressants for mood swings and anxiety, I was finding that the medication was making me feel like a zombie, that my personality was being drained away,” he said.
“My weight had also become a big problem and I had shot up to 23 stone.
“I felt trapped and very isolated. I had been to gyms before, but they felt like factories, way too commercial and not that interested in you as a person.”
In 2009, David first found the inner strength to launch himself into a fitness drive, but he admits he wasn’t able to sustain it at that point in his life.
“I managed to shift a lot of weight over the course of a year, but because of the ongoing depression, I stopped going to the gym and I put six stone of it back on again in just a few months,” he says. “I was desperate, but I knew I had to get back on top of things.
“The staff at Village Farm were a massive help in keeping me motivated, very helpful, incredibly supportive, friendly and caring – the whole place has a lovely, welcoming feel.
“They have also helped me to take a more balanced approach to weight-loss by making small, gradual changes to my lifestyle and so far I have kept the weight off.
“As a consequence, I feel much fitter and more stable. I have a general feeling of health and wellbeing.
“Looking back, it has proved to be a huge turning point for me and very gradually I have been able to stop taking all medication.
“My mood swings are now under control and my anxiety is manageable.”
David’s wife Carol has also noticed a transformation in his well-being.
“This has made a big difference to the way David is,” she said. “We went out for a drink for the first time in ages last week.
“He seems so much happier with himself. I only hope it continues.”
“By going to the gym, the social contact has increased and my confidence and self-esteem has developed.”
“I no longer feel socially isolated and depressed.”
“I personally cannot recommend this alternative road to recovery too highly.”
“I only hope my experience encourages others to take positive action.”
“I’m extremely grateful to the staff at Village Farm and thankful to them all for their motivational support.”
You can find the original story here: http://www.ssristories.org/after-many-years-on-ads-man-felt-like-his-personaity-was-drained-away-he-became-obese/
Last but not least is an article from the Mayo Clinic describing the benefits of exercise for Depression:
Research on anxiety, depression and exercise shows that the psychological and physical benefits of exercise can also help reduce anxiety and improve mood.
The links between anxiety, depression and exercise aren’t entirely clear — but working out can definitely help you relax and make you feel better. Exercise may also help keep anxiety and depression from coming back once you’re feeling better.
How does exercise help depression and anxiety?
- Releasing feel-good brain chemicals that may ease depression (neurotransmitters and endorphins)
- Reducing immune system chemicals that can worsen depression
- Increasing body temperature, which may have calming effects
Exercise has many psychological and emotional benefits too. It can help you:
- Gain confidence. Meeting exercise goals or challenges, even small ones, can boost your self-confidence. Getting in shape can also make you feel better about your appearance.
- Take your mind off worries. Exercise is a distraction that can get you away from the cycle of negative thoughts that feed anxiety and depression.
- Get more social interaction. Exercise may give you the chance to meet or socialize with others. Just exchanging a friendly smile or greeting as you walk around your neighborhood can help your mood.
- Cope in a healthy way. Doing something positive to manage anxiety or depression is a healthy coping strategy. Trying to feel better by drinking alcohol, dwelling on how badly you feel, or hoping anxiety or depression will go away on its own can lead to worsening symptoms.
The full article can be found here: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depression/in-depth/depression-and-exercise/art-20046495
There are many other studies which corroborate and support the anecdotal evidence of many people who have lifted their depression through exercise.
If you want to get more fit, end obesity or fight depression, start a pushup workout program.
An excellent system can be found here.