Exercise Helps Anxiety & Depression
If you suffer from depression and/or anxiety and are looking for a solution, consistent exercise may be key. Research shows that our physical, emotional, and mental parts are intertwined very intimately and can strengthen and support one another. Specifically, evidence points to three types of exercise that target alleviating anxiety and depression: running, hiking, and yoga.
Running has a reputation for improving mood. It also burns calories, reduces food cravings, and lowers your risk of heart disease. Further, running has been shown to mend troubled dispositions while increasing serotonin and norepinephrine output during and after exercise. These powerful neurotransmitters aid in lessoning depression, lowering stress, and alleviating anxiety.
Hiking has also been shown to have many health benefits. Not only does nature calm our minds, but hiking gets the heart pumping as well. Studies show that when immersing oneself in nature, around plants, trees, streams, etc., participants felt less anxious and had increased memory function.
Not surprisingly, yoga has shown to alleviate depression and anxiety symptoms. Some research recommends yoga be a complementary treatment for depression in fact. The focus on breathing while doing yoga really helps with anxiety because it is difficult to feel stressed or anxious when you are focused on breathing.
More and more research points to exercise to lessen the difficult symptoms of depression and anxiety. Although it may not be surprising, sometimes getting up and participating in yoga, running, and/or hiking may seem daunting to those dealing with depression and anxiety. However, if individuals can find someone to go with and encourage them to get out and exercise, or can find the drive to do it themselves, the benefits are enormous.