Did you know that there’s a strong connection between mind and body wellness? Research indicates that individuals that are physically active are better able to manage depression, anxiety and stress. In some cases, physical activity can be as effective as medication in the treatment of depression.
Prescription for Using Exercise to Manage Moods:
- 30 minutes, 3 times per week
Research indicates that exercising in a steady, rhythmical state (running, walking, cycling, swimming, elliptical machine, etc) can enhance moods. Choose a steady state (rather than interval training or weight lifting) cardiovascular workout in order to maximize benefits to mental health.
- Remain Mindful
Another key to maximizing the effectiveness of exercise as a tool to beat depression is to remain mindful during the workout. Rather than get lost in watching t.v. or your anxious thoughts, try staying connected to your breath as a way to bring your focus inward. Remind yourself that your workout is a practice in self care.
- Have Fun
Research also indicates that when we enjoy our workout or see it as a fun activity, we tend to decrease the tendency to overeat as a “reward”. Find an activity that you can enjoy. With summer around the corner, getting outdoors is a great way to add some exercise to your day.
- Be Consistent
As with any change, consistency is absolutely key. In order to feel the long term benefits of exercise as it relates to your mental health, commit to making it a consistent part of your lifestyle.