Exercise and Depression

November 4, 2016

In Australia, it is estimated that 45 per cent of people will experience a mental health condition in their lifetime. In any one year, around 1 million Australian adults deal with depression, and over 2 million struggle with anxiety.

Exercise helps prevent and improve a number of health problems, including high blood pressure, diabetes and arthritis. Research on anxiety, depression and exercise shows that the psychological and physical benefits of exercise can also help reduce anxiety and improve mood – helping you to work through issues.

According to the Black Dog Institute, exercise is an evidence-based treatment for depression. It has a large antidepressant effect on mild to moderate depression, and on major depressive disorders. We can’t agree more, which is why we wanted to share the Black Dog Institute’s tips for exercising for your mood:

Tips for exercising your mood

Exercise doesn’t have to be a go hard or go home approach to provide a benefit. The National Physical Activity Guidelines for Australians recommend a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise on most, preferably all, days of the week. All this means is doing something that gives you a noticeable increase in breathing and heart rate, exercising for at least 10 minutes at a time combining short sessions of different activities.

The benefits of exercise for your mental health also include:

  • increasing endorphins and decreasing stress hormones
  • improving sleep, fitness and energy levels
  • distracting from worries
  • providing social support and reducing loneliness
  • increasing a sense of control and self-esteem

So set yourself a personal goal. If you feel daunted, start small. The key is to find something you feel good about doing and make a point to enjoy yourself.

Bodyfit NT specialises in chronic condition prevention, exercise therapy, mobility and athlete development. Our team is trained getting clients back on track with lifestyle and behaviour change support. Click here to get in touch or find out more about our Exercise Physiology, Physiotherapy and Strength and Conditioning services