Exercise and Depression

Exercise and Depression


Exercise has commonly been known to help increase and maintain good physical health. However, recent research has shown that physical activity has a positive effect on mental and emotional health as well.

In recent studies, exercise has been shown to alleviate symptoms of depression by increasing endorphins or “feel good” chemicals in the brain. Exercise can also increase two major neurotransmitters in the brain, serotonin and norepinephrine. When these chemicals are balanced, the brain can effectively maintain and stabilize mood. Getting an adequate daily dose of physical activity can be beneficial not only physically, but mentally as well.

 In a study of 202 adults, which all qualified for major depression, about 47 percent of those taking antidepressant drugs were no longer under the status of major depression.  What came shocking were the results for those who performed a group exercise routine instead of medication, which ended up revealing almost the same results with 45 percent no longer qualifying for the status of major depression.  So with medication and group exercise almost on par with each other for the treatment of depression, you also must remember that exercise has almost no negative side effects and has many other positive health benefits.

Here are some major benefits that physical activity can offer:

  • Decreased risk of heart attack

  • Reduced risk of cancer and disease

  • Increased self-esteem and mood

  • Reduced depression

  • Lowered blood pressure

  • Decreased stress levels

  • Enhance quality of sleep

  • Increased energy levels

  • Strengthen bones and muscles

  • Increase your chances to live longer

What kind of exercise is best?

It is recommended that adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate- intensity aerobic activity each week in order to receive important health benefits.  So, if you are suffering from depression and want to have a more natural approach to feeling better, talk with your doctor about an exercise program over your medication.  Also, make sure you spine is healthy enough to exercise and visit your chiropractor in Bozeman, MT for a tune up before your next workout!

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