Exericise Helps Beat Depression

Its no secret that most stay at home moms get depressed. Mothering can be a hard job. There may also be hormonal reasons for getting depressed such as being a new mother. 

You don't have to dope yourself up on a bunch of prescribed pills if you feel despressed.The most inexpensive actual cure for depression is exercise. Even better yet exercising has no side effects except for weight loss and a good mood. 

Still as successful as exercise has been shown to be effective in reducing the painful symptoms (both physical and psychological) of depression, few people take this route to relief because it is so much easier just to pop a pill. The main reason that most depressed people avoid exercising is because they feel tired.  

Women who have just had a baby may also get the idea that their bodies are embarrassing to look at. Some women are simply overweight and neurotic about how they look.  Usually the shame they suffer at the notion of anyone looking at them is out of proportion to their real physical flaws. Studies conducted in 1999 found that only thirty minutes vigorous exercise three times a week was as effective in relieving the symptoms of major depression as antidepressants.  This means getting up off of the couch and turning the television off. The reason that exercise can practically claim to be a cure for depression is the fact that a follow up study to the one mentioned above done in 2000 showed that the depressed people who continued to exercise three times a week never seemed to suffer from depression. In fact the more the individual exercised the less likely he or she was to see any recurrence of the symptoms of either short term OR chronic depression.  

Yet another interesting thing about these studies was that people who used a combination of medications and exercise did not recover as fast as those who simply spent some time exercising. This means that taking antidepressants might actually block the positive effects of any exercising you are doing now. 

There have been no real studies done on what type of exercise is best for curing depression. For instance it seems that both aerobic (running, swimming) and anaerobic (weight lifting) exercises seem to accomplish the same thing as long as you are performing the exercises on a regular basis. 

If you are depressed and can hardly seem to get off the couch to exercise remember that the journey to success starts with one small step at a time. All you really have to do is get up and start taking a walk.

According to all of the great New Age type gurus, taking a walk in a natural setting is probably the most effective thing that you can do to relieve depression.  However despite what this blog says you should follow your doctor's orders especially if you are suffering from something like post-partum depression. Further research needs to take place to determine exactly why vigorous activity is effective and which types of depression can best be relieved by it.