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How to Kill Depression With Exercise


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It has been known for years that exercise provides physical and emotional benefits. Routine exercise may benefit us all in relieving anxiety and depression. Exercising helps improve blood flow to the the brain and other parts of the body. Health benefits include lowering blood pressure, improving exercise tolerance, lowering cholesterol and triglycerides, lowering stress and improving your mood.  Endorphins are also released which help in alleviating pain and giving us a sense of well being.

The key is moderate exercise, performed a minimum of 30 minutes per day, three or four times a week. Activities such as  walking, swimming, lifting weights, and bicycling are all excellent forms of exercise. If you have been inactive for some time it is best that you start out slowly and build up to the recommended time and duration. If you try to do more, initially,  than your body can tolerate you may end up fatigued, sore, and frustrated.

People who exercise regularly, even at something as simple as walking or bicycling, have improved muscle tone and flexibility.   Their muscles and joints are more tolerant of activities that stress these areas. People who routinely exercise show decreased recovery time physically and emotionally, after exercise and other stressful activity.   

The big problem we all face these days is living a stressful life. All families seem to be too busy to sit down together and share the joys and pleasures of life. The little things that once mattered are no longer important and now there is a race for more money, more time and more material possessions. It is easy to fall into a pattern of procrastination when it comes to exercising. This attitude of putting it off until tomorrow can lead to inner frustration. This inner frustration can lead to depression  over your situation and failure to take action.

Simple relaxation techniques, exercising and making changes in our lifestyles, will help us manage stress better and take control of our lives. The first step is recognizing you are under stress, then taking action to get it under control. There are many techniques for relaxing, but the most basic is deep breathing.   An automatic reaction to stress is rapid, shallow breathing. Breathing slowly and deeply is one of the ways you can “turn off" your stress reaction and “turn on" your relaxation response.

Taking breaks to “clear your mind" will also help in stress reduction. There are as many different ways to take a break to clear your mind as there are people suffering from stress. Everyone will have there own way of taking a break and thinking about things other than what is contributing to  their stress. The key is for each individual to commit themselves to taking  periodic breaks.  A short and quiet walk  around the block will help you clear your head and give you a new burst of energy.

Muscle and joint aches and pains are a common complaint for many of us, living as we do in a sedentary, high-stress society. Our bodies pay the price for long hours slumped at our desks or sitting in a soft chair watching television. Most of our aches and pains are a result of inactivity and weakness instead of the aging process.

Doctors now say that walking is one of the best exercises. It helps improve the  circulation of blood throughout the body, and  has a direct effect on your overall feeling of health and sense of well being.  Exercise such as aerobics, jogging, swimming, weight training and many other exercises which will benefit a person both physically and mentally.

Starting today, implement a routine exercise program even if you only are able to commit five minutes per day and twirl your arms. Start small and build on it until you are exercising for thirty minutes, three times per week. This will help alleviate  that feeling of depression, optimize your energy and help you start living a longer healthier life.

Curtis E. McElroy is an internal medicine physician with an interest in the research and writing of health and wellness, self improvement, and motivational articles. His website is


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