How Does Exercise Help to Treat Depression?

11th December 2018
Exercise has many more benefits than purely aesthetic. It also helps us to maintain good mental health, since it generates endorphins and makes us feel better about ourselves.

There are moments or situations in life that cause changes to our mood. Sometimes, these events can have a positive or negative connotation. If it is a negative connotation, it’s advisable to try and overcome this stage.  And, to overcome it, external elements such as sports help more than you may think.

A difficult stage

To reduce negative mood stages we must first know how to identify depression. We have all been exposed to difficult situations that change our mood, but what happens when it is recurrent?

Depression is a disorder that causes low self-esteem, mood decay, loss of interest in daily activities, sadness, and other symptoms. In short, it is a permanent burden.

Girl with depression in the gym.

What are the stages of depression?

Depression doesn’t hit directly. Like any other disorder, there are symptoms that can get worse if not treated in time. The stages of depression can be divided into four:

  • Cause: any event or situation that leads to the appearance of symptoms, for example, bullying.
  • Recurrent symptoms: anxiety, loss of sleep, apathy, among others.
  • Abandonment: the individual begins to avoid situations that they used to enjoy. They isolate themself.
  • Total abandonment: they not only abandon situations that they previously enjoyed but also their responsibilities.

It’s extremely important to know how to identify all of these stages. But don’t worry, in this article, you’ll see how exercise will be your best ally to help overcome any of the depressive stages in which you might find yourself. Keep reading!

Exercise, your heart’s best friend

Exercise is any type of physical activity subject to certain rules. In this case, sports could become your best friend, both physically and mentally.

Decreasing depressive stages is more easily achieved when physical activity is performed. Although you may not believe it, exercise has many benefits for mental health. Take a look and you may be surprised:

Releases endorphins

Endorphins are a chemical that the brain releases. They produce happiness and makes you feel more relaxed. Music, like sports, releases endorphins. So if you combine the two you will get good results. You do not have to have an intense session of sports. It’s about feeling at ease. By going out to jog in the park for half an hour and listening to your favorite playlist, you’ll see the results!

Woman with no depression after working out.

It helps you connect with yourself

Exercise creates a mind-body connection, refines your senses, improves your concentration and motor skills. It also helps you connect with yourself which is an essential tool to reduce depressive stages. Above all during the depressive phase of abandonment, having good control of body and mind will make it much easier to move forward.

You’ll make more friends

Sometimes it’s difficult to leave depressive stages alone. If for some reason or another you are going through a stage alone, practicing a sport will help you relate to people who mostly have the same goal as you: to feel healthy and good about themselves. In addition, everything is more fun together or working as a team. You’ll make new friends and you’ll have fun doing sports.

You’ll love yourself more

Depressive stages often lead to a loss of self-esteem. Performing physical activity will not only make you feel better by releasing endorphins, but you’ll begin to see changes in your body that will give you a boost in self-esteem and remind you that you need to love yourself more. The changes will not only be for your physical appearance, but for your health too. You’ll be proud to see all of the things that you can achieve by doing sports.

Decrease depressive stages

If you are in a depressive phase of your life, it’s important to remember that you have the control to beat it. A good way to start motivating yourself is by doing sports. In addition to leaving behind a depressive stage you’ll gain many other benefits.

Here are some sports that you could try:

Boxing to fight depression

Boxing is a combat sport. It consists of two opponents fighting with their fists in a ring. This sport is ideal to reduce the depressive stages since you can offload all of your negative emotions in the ring or even during training.

Woman fighting depression by punching heavy bag.

If you are looking for an adrenaline rush, you will enjoy boxing. Training, even outside the ring, is quite varied and energetic. Jumping rope or hitting the punching bag will help you to drain depressing feelings.

By the sea, life is better

If you enjoy the sea and live near the beach, this is for you! Let your extreme side explore surfing. Becoming a free spirit will help decrease depressive stages. Not only can you have contact with the sea and a beautiful tan, but you can also have fun performing a physical activity.

Besides surfing, being on the beach has many other options for sports. You can jog on the seashore, do yoga, play volleyball or frisbee, among others. Or if you want, let your imagination fly and invent a new physical activity. The idea is that you enjoy the landscape that the beach offers you and thus leave behind any burdens you may have.

Leave everything aside and dance!

Zumba, dance classes, aerobics, aqua aerobics, rhythmic gymnastics, ballet, and others are all great options. They’ll be your best allies to reduce the depressive stages. The combination of music and exercises will release a large dose of endorphins that will make you feel great.

Just choose the sport that closely matches your taste and go for it! You’ll find a lot of variety, which is excellent for avoiding a dull routine. In this way, you can reduce the depressive stages in a fun and cheerful way.

Couple stopping depression by dancing in the kitchen.

Healthy mind, healthy body

Depressive stages can be hard and difficult to overcome in our lives. It is important that you remember there is a line between being in a depressive stage and having depression. Therefore, a lot of attention must be paid to identify when a psychological disorder requires help from a professional.

If you are going through a difficult or problematic time in your life, any type of sport will help you. Not only the sports that we have mentioned but any kind of physical activity that makes you feel good and comfortable. Also, exercise will always be an escape from the stress and tension, so enjoy it!