Saturday, December 16, 2017 7:29

Depression Exercise Therapy

Posted by on Sunday, November 22, 2009, 11:25
This news item was posted in Mental category and has 0 Comments so far.

People who are mentally healthy tend to be more physically active than those who are not. Either of these states could contribute to the other, so it is difficult to attribute the good mental health to the exercise. Also, overexercising can be associated with poorer mental health.

There is some evidence that regular exercise can aid recovery from depression. A large study in California showed relief of depression in people who became physically active. This beneficial result may be due to increased levels of endorphins in individuals who exercise.

Endorphins, chemicals made by the body, are similar to morphine and can induce a feeling of well being. It could also be that the depressed teen feels better about herself because she pushed herself to get out and exercise. She may feel less out of control when she is focusing on things other than her depression, and may also meet people and interact with them as part of the exercise experience. Activities such as yoga may accompany a depression.

The exercise does not have to be vigorous. Both strenuous and more gentle exercise has been shown to have a good effect. Teens can pick activities at which they are likely to succeed. It may be easier to do an exercise that does not require travel or a special membership. Jumping rope, walking, bike riding or blading may appeal to a teen. On the other hand, if they are motivated, an exercise class or team activity would provide a social component that may be lacking in some other activities.

Don’t expect results overnight. Just as the effects of antidepressant medication can take weeks to appear, the benefits of exercise will likely take a while to show themselves.

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