Stress & Wellness

Beat the Blues With Exercise

Depression is a serious health issue, whether we’re talking clinical depression (major depressive disorder), mild depression, seasonal affective disorder (or appropriately, “SAD” – depressive symptoms that often occur during the fall / winter months) or just “feeling blue.”

Fortunately, there’s a simple, natural solution to help deal with depression: exercise. When you’re depressed, exercise is probably last on your list of priorities; curling up on the couch may seem infinitely more appealing than heading off to the gym for a vigorous workout. Yet an abundance of research suggests exercise is an ideal natural remedy when you feel depressed – and science backs it up.

According to the Mayo Clinic, here are some of the reasons why exercise may be an effective way to combat depression:

  • Releases “feel-good” brain chemicals (neurotransmitters, endorphins and endocannabinoids)
  • Reduces immune-system chemicals that have been implicated in depression
  • Increases body temperature, which may provide a sense of calm, reducing anxiety
  • Helps you deal with your depression in a healthy, productive way
  • Boosts self-confidence, which can make you feel better about yourself
  • May provide for more social interaction, improving your mood

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