Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Beating anxiety and depression with exercise

When you've got too much on your mind, you're feeling down or the pressures of life are overwhelming you, here's what you need to do:

Think about something else.

It's easy to say, I know, but you're no good to anybody if  you're a bundle of nerves.  One thing that I happen to know is that depression and anxiety symptoms often improve with exercise.  Yes - when you have anxiety or depression, exercise often seems like the last thing you want to do.  Once you get motivated, though, regular exercise can make a big difference.

Beating anxiety and depression with exercise

So how will this work?  First of all, you need to have a greater understanding on how exercise can make a difference in depression and anxiety symptoms.  The links between anxiety, depression and exercise are not entirely clear, but working out and other forms of physical activity have shown that it can definitely ease symptoms of anxiety or depression and make you feel better.  For one thing, toning up and getting stronger will improve your self-image and your self-confidence.

Exercise has also been shown to help keep anxiety and depression from coming back once you are feeling better and symptoms have subsided.  How does exercise help depression and anxiety?  Regular exercise for depression and anxiety may help ease symptoms in a number of ways, which may include:

*Releasing feel-good brain chemicals that may ease depression (neurotransmitters, endorphins and endocannabinoids)

*Reducing immune system chemicals that can worsen depression

*Increasing body temperature, which may have calming effects

Regular exercise has many other psychological and emotional benefits, as well - primarily gaining self-confidence.  The more fit you are, the better your posture will be and the better your clothes will look on you.

Taking your mind off worries, even for a short while, is the kind of break that your brain needs.  When you're under stress, exercise is a distraction that can get you away from the cycle of negative thoughts that feed anxiety and depression.  Doing something positive to manage anxiety or depression is a healthy coping strategy.  Trying to feel better by drinking alcohol, dwelling on how badly you feel, or hoping anxiety or depression will go away on its own can lead to worsening symptoms.

Now that you have an understanding of how it can help, what can you do about beating anxiety and depression with exercise?

Beating anxiety and depression with exercise

Another thing: research has shown that physical activity such as regular walking, gardening or other forms of physical activity may help improve mood.  Keep in mind that physical activity and exercise are not the same thing, but both are beneficial to your health.  The same research has shown that those who used exercise that incorporated progressive resistance training, and cardiovascular training showed a greater improvement and maintenance of depression and anxiety.  With that said, many people don’t seek out exercise because they don’t want to go to a fitness facility - because they're depressed to begin with!  So what is the answer?  The answer is to utilize at-home fitness and exercise programs such as Beachbody’s 21 Day Fix, P90X, TurboFire, Insanity, and others that provide resistance and cardiovascular training in a planned and structured format.  This progressive exercise, combined with a structured plan (and where you don’t have to leave your home) is a great method for beating anxiety and depression with exercise.

One of the other things that many people don’t have with going to the gym to exercise for depression and anxiety is support. With a Beachbody Club Membership, each person gets a FREE Coach to support him or her - plus challenge groups, buddies and message boards.  You don't have to do this alone.  If you start with a Beachbody Premium Membership, you’re first 30 days is FREE, and it gives you access to Beachbody On-Demand, an amazing meal planner, and much more!  After your free trial ends, you’ll continue to stream world-class programs, such as P90X®, P90X2®, P90X3®, INSANITY®, and more from our massive Beachbody Member Library.  So take advantage of exercise to provide benefits to your overall health, and to improve or manage depression and anxiety.

That person in the mirror is going to be a healthier, trimmer, strong and HAPPIER reflection of you!

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