If you’re dealing with anxiety or depression, you may not feel naturally motivated to exercise often. However, once you get your body moving, you may find that working out can do wonders for boosting your mood.
Exercise can both improve and prevent several health issues such as arthritis, diabetes, and even high blood pressure. According to research, exercising can lower symptoms of depression and reduce anxious feelings or thoughts. A regular workout regimen can also prevent anxiety or depression from returning or lessen the severity.
How Working Out Helps Anxiety and Depression
Exercise can alleviate depression and anxiety by releasing endorphins in your body. Endorphins are natural brain chemicals that are actually endogenous cannabinoids. Endorphins combine with other brain chemicals to enhance your mood and overall well-being. Exercise can also serve as a welcome distraction and give you a chance to focus on improving your health.
You may also find that your confidence will increase when you work out more. When you conquer a physical challenge through exercise, you’re sending a message to your brain that you are strong and capable. This message may become evident in other aspects of your life as well.
Exercise also provides a healthy coping mechanism for stress. When you feel anxious or depressed, doing something good for your mind and body is a form of self-care.
Do You Need a Structured Workout Plan?
Some research indicates that you don’t have to have a formal exercise plan to experience the benefits of working out. Walking regularly or even working your muscles by doing household chores can improve your mood. Structured exercise can make you feel better, and you can customize your routine to reach specific health goals.
No matter what type of exercise or physical movement you decide to engage in, you may find that you feel better and have more energy once you include physical activities into your daily routine for a week or two. Even small changes in your day, such as taking the stairs instead of the escalator or parking further away from a building so you can take a short, brisk walk each time you need to get to your car, can improve the way you feel throughout the day and decrease the likelihood of experiencing depression or anxiety symptoms.