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How can exercise help my depression and anxiety?

what is depression?

When you’re depressed or anxious the last thing that is on your mind would be to exercise. Your brain is running a hundred miles an hour with thoughts associated with these conditions and when your stuck in these thought circles its hard to get out. That’s where exercise can help! There are many ways that exercise can help with those suffering a mental health condition and here’s how.

Exercise is a natural outlet for our fight, flight or freeze response; because of this exercise is a natural stress relief. During our fight, flight or freeze response certain hormones are released including adrenaline, nor-adrenaline and cortisol.  Exercise is able to use these hormones and move them around the body limiting damage that may be caused by cortisol. The natural way to lower these hormones allows you to feel less stressed and anxious.

Along the same lines exercise releases hormones including dopamine and serotonin, also known as the “feel good” or “happy” hormones. Dopamine is a pleasure hormone, it makes us feel good and exercise is a natural way it gets released. These hormones increase your mood and the effects last hours after the exercise has been completed. Exercise is as effective and sometimes more effective than medications on mental health conditions.

Unfortunately, people experiencing mental health conditions are more likely to have inactive lifestyles. This increases their risks of heart disease, diabetes, stroke and many other chronic conditions. Exercise can help reduce your risk associated with these conditions, whilst improving your mental health conditions.

The great thing about exercise and mental health conditions is that there is no exercise that doesn’t have an impact! That’s right you can do anything: run, walk, yoga, weights or sports and you will get the benefits. Not sure how to get started, why don’t you come in and check us out! Feel a bit unsure about exercising alone, why don’t you enquire about our group class and rope a mate in as well.

Remember exercise is not about the way we look, its about how our bodies feel! Check out this clip below to find out more information.


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