How Exercise Can Help Combat Depression
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1. Running, walking, cycling or participating in a fitness class with others can help to reduce the isolation felt by many struggling with depression or anxiety. Engaging with others can also help turn the focus outwards for a time, providing a much needed break from the ongoing cycle of negative thoughts that often fuel anxiety.
2. When you exercise your body releases feel good chemicals called endorphins. Even a modest 30 minutes of exercise per day has been shown to lift mood and reduce stress. Recent studies have shown that exercise can be as effective as medication for the treatment of mild to moderate depression.
3. Oftentimes sufferers of depression and anxiety struggle with difficulty sleeping. Some studies estimate that up to 80% of sufferers have sleep disturbances. Regular exercise can help to improve sleep, which supports the regulation of stress hormones in your body and in turn improves feelings of well-being.