Let’s face it, when you’re depressed you have little motivation to do anything, let alone exercise. However, it’s common knowledge that exercise can help boost mood. You may start thinking of ways to work out, but even the idea of trying new exercises or going to the gym can be daunting. Fortunately, some experts and depression sufferers have ideas for doable exercises for women who are depressed.
Diane Carbo, a registered nurse, said in an email that she began suffering from depression three years ago when a car crash left her with chronic pain and the inability to work, but exercise has helped her cope.
“The easiest thing for me to do is to walk and practice mindful meditation, or just plain positive thinking during my hour-long walk,” Carbo said. “If I can get myself out of bed, then the day flows. Exercise makes all the difference in the world, with my pain and my mood.”
She also does water exercises, like water aerobics and water running, because her pain prevents her from doing land exercises. If she gets into a cycle of not wanting to get out of bed, getting someone to work out with her can help motivate her to exercise.
Diane Renz, a licensed psychotherapist in Colorado, said in an email that both exercise and good nutrition are important for improving mood and depression.
“Movement is necessary to healing - stagnation creates illness,” Renz said. “Yoga is a great serotonin enhancer. Hatha yoga [three times] per week raises serotonin levels to the same extent as antidepressants. When ready, pursue a class where you can be supported to do this, or try a DVD.”
Jenny Skoog, a New York City based fitness expert, sent some simple workout ideas through email:
1) “Climb up and down stairs five times.”
2) “Bust out 75 jumping jacks.”
3) “Do a quick circuit of 10 pushups, 20 crunches and 30 squats.”
4) “Go for a walk around the house to breathe fresh air.”
5) “Clean one room as fast as you can.”
6) “Put the timer on for 10 minutes and see how much housework can be done in that amount of time.”
7) “Call a friend to come over for a workout.”
8) “Stretch or do 30 minutes of yoga.”