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Relieve Depression Symptoms with Exercise, Not Self Medication

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An exercise session has many benefits including temporary relief of depression symptoms. Even though exercise is not a cure, every little bit helps.

As a research study showed, one workout can immediately lift your mood. It doesn’t take weeks of workouts as previously thought.

"Many people with depression attempt to self-medicate with alcohol, caffeine, or tobacco to manage their daily routine. Low- to moderate-intensity exercise appears to be an alternate way to manage depression, one that doesn't come with such negative health consequences," researcher John Bartholomew, PhD, said in a news release. Bartholomew is an associate professor in the department of kinesiology and health education at The University of Texas at Austin.

Previous research has proven that regular exercise is an effective, but often underused, treatment for mild to moderate depression. Regular exercise has been proven to:

--Reduce stress, anxiety, and depression
--Boost self-esteem
--Improve sleep

In this study, researchers studied the effects of a single workout session. They compared the effects of 30 minutes of walking on a treadmill with 30 minutes of quiet rest in 40 adults recently diagnosed with depression. The participants were not taking depression medication or exercising previous to the study.

Both groups had reduced feelings of tension, anger, depression, and fatigue. Only the exercise group reported feeling good. These good feelings were measured by improved scores on "vigor" and "well-being.”

The researchers have not determined why exercise improved positive feelings in the depressed participants.

Either way you look at it, exercise is good for you. These are some benefits of just 30 minutes of daily exercise activity like walking, jogging, biking, dancing or swimming:

1. Lost weight
2. Reduced body fat
3. Lower LDL levels (bad cholesterol)
4. Lower blood pressure
5. Improved heart function
6. Reduced risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease
7. Improved appearance and boost of self-esteem
8. Increased energy
9. Reduced health care costs

Add a Comment2 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

Good shape will give you a bit of good mood each time you look in the mirror. In my case it's a perfect motivation for attaining my further fitness goals. What helps me to keep good shape is right nutrition (no starving!). To support my body with additional nutrients I am taking Military Grade Nutritionals supplements, which make me energized and toned. They are perfect for my active lifestyle.

April 8, 2013 - 11:11am
EmpowHER Guest

Exercise is the best form of preventative medicine and its a great way to boost your mood. Find exercises that can help you fight illness and improve your outlook on life on Holosfitness.com. Holosfitness.com is a free online fitness tool. The site offers a wide array of health, fitness, and nutrition-related information, including step-by-step instruction on hundreds of exercises.

March 1, 2011 - 2:37pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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