Research has shown that certain exercises may help to ease depression. The reason is chemical. Exercise boosts endorphins, which offer powerful boosts to your sense of well-being, according to Everyday Health
"Your favorite fitness routine can be an excellent addition to your depression treatment plan," Everyday Health noted.
Among the top exercises for helping with depression is yoga. One study found that women who took a yoga class twice weekly showed a significant drop in symptoms of anxiety and depression, according to Everyday Health.
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“Eastern traditions such as yoga have a wonderful antidepressant effect in that they improve flexibility; involve mindfulness, which breaks up repetitive negative thoughts; increase strength; make you aware of your breathing; improve balance; and contain a meditative component,” noted Dr. Norman E. Rosenthal, a clinical professor of psychiatry at the Georgetown University School of Medicine.
Weight-lifting is also good for those suffering with depression, according to BodyBuilding.com
. It is especially helpful for women.
The website cited research at Harvard University that determined that 10 weeks of weight training cut clinical symptoms of depression better than counseling.
“Strength training is about mastery and control,” clinical psychologist Leslie Seppinni told Everyday Health. “It requires full attention and concentration. More importantly, people can see the results, the outline of the muscles forming, from dedication and training.”
Running not only is a good aerobic exercise, but it also offers mental health benefits. Starting with a walk and continuing that daily, building up to a run, could help cut back feelings of depression, WebMD reported
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“The days you feel least like exercising are the most important days to get out and do it,” author Keith Johnsgard, a psychology professor at San Jose State University, told WebMD. “Those are the days when you will feel best after doing it.”
“To date, the strongest evidence seems to support aerobic exercise,”Dr. David Muzina told Everyday Health, which noted that studies found no correlation between exercise intensity and its benefit.
“The most tangible example of exercise stimulating certain brain chemicals is the runner’s high that many athletes report experiencing once crossing a certain threshold of exertion while running,” explained Muzina said.
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