Sometimes the last thing you want to do when you’re feeling anxious or depressed is exercise. It’s tempting just to stay under the duvet or curl up on the sofa. But, the thing is exercise does make a difference to your mood.
Have a look at this article published on the Psychology Today website. It talks about how regular, low- intensity exercise may protect you from depression.
How does exercise help you to feel better?
When you exercise the brain releases serotonin. Serotonin is a hormone. One of the things it does it regulate your mood. People suffering from depression may have low serotonin levels. Studies have shown that exercise can increase serotonin levels. Increased serotonin gives you that feel-good feeling. Regular exercise should also help you to sleep better.
Exercise to get out of the house
Don’t put off doing some exercise if you’re not fit. A brisk walk in the park should still help. Watch what’s going on around you, rather than thinking about things which worry you.
If you are fit and you enjoy walking you could have a look at the Walking Britain website. It gives information about interesting walks all over the UK. Tap in your postcode to find walks in your area. You could also join a local walking group.
You might not feel like socialising but getting out with other people could help. Group activities also include pilates, yoga or Zumba classes. Here are some blogs from the Time to Change website. These bloggers talk about how exercise helped them to feel more positive.
Exercise by Geocaching
If you’ve got children or grandchildren you might like to try Geocaching. The good thing about Geo-caching is that it takes some thinking about which will distract you.
It is basically like going on an adult treasure hunt. You have to find a hidden log-book and a trinket. You follow coordinates with the help of your smartphone and a map. Kids love it and it’s a great way to get out in the open air.
Swimming and cycling
Swimming is good exercise too. If you’re put off because it gives you too much thinking time invest in a pair of waterproof headphones. That way, you can listen to music while you swim.
Cycling is another way to get out and about. Many towns now have dedicated cycle lanes on the road and in quieter places like your local park.
If you want to read more about how exercise can help anxiety and depression have a look at the websites of: