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Exercise to reduce Depression

Posted May 13 2010 2:44am

Is it really surprising that out of shape people are depressed or have a low value of themselves? Just getting up and doing 30 minutes of some kind of moderate exercise a day would improve those moods.

Ego and Adonis like self-worship seem to be what people relate when they think of fitness characters. While it’s true they do  value their appearance, it’s actually from feeling good about themselves. This is from exercising often. Not only does it make you look better, you feel mentally healthier too.

When exercising for over 9 weeks, exercise acts as an antidepressant and will last longer periods than if it was in shorter bursts.

It’s been proven as effective as psychotherapy in reducing depression.

How does this work? Well when you exercise you are increasing cerebral blood flow, as well as the maximum allowance of oxygen to the cerebral tissues. It releases neurotransmitters, such as norepinephrine, endorphins, and serotin. And it reduces muscle tension.

Exercise releases endorphins, endorphins make you happy, happy people don’t kill their husbands. They just don’t. -Legally Blonde

So, what else does exercise do?

Exercise increase…

  • Academic Performance
  • Assertiveness
  • Confidence
  • Emotional Stability
  • Intellectual Functioning
  • Internal locus of control
  • Memory
  • Perception
  • Positive Body Image
  • Self-Control
  • Sexual Satisfaction
  • Well-being
  • Work Efficiency

Exercise decreases…

  • Absenteeism at work
  • Alcohol Abuse
  • Anger
  • Anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Depression
  • Headaches
  • Hostility
  • Phobias
  • Psychotic behavior
  • Tension
  • Type A Behavior
  • Work Errors

So before you go out and blame everything in society for feeling bad, take the dog for a walk or try a jog! Running was actually found to be the best exercise for this purpose.

Referenced: Robert S. Weiner, Daniel Gould. Foundations of Sport and Exercise Psychology: 4th Ed. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, 2007. Print

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