Beating depression is not easy. It takes effort and time to treat it. Moreover, it being a disease of the mind, finding information about ways to treat it naturally is tough. Depressive episodes can last from anywhere between a couple of days to months and even years depending on each individual. As people all over the world are looking to rely on natural treatments, knowing how to fight depression naturally is becoming more and more important. Here are 5 tips to use exercise as a means to treat depression naturally.
It is not a well-known fact that exercise can be as good as and even better than prescription pills in treating depression. The reason for this is because exercise has absolutely no side effects, in fact it brings with it a number of health benefits. Moreover, the positive effects of it on the mind are apparent as soon as the first workout is complete. Exercise releases the natural pain killers of the body, namely the epinephrine and the norepinephrine which are also known to act as mood-boosters. A good intense workout, even a short one, has the ability to improve the mood, sleep, cognition and decrease chronic pain and the blues. It increases energy and overall vitality. A 20-minute routine is enough. A 60-minute routine is even better. Choose what suits your lifestyle.
Do more of high intensity cardio exercises. You can run, kickbox, spin or jump rope, as each of these is high on intensity. If running is too much for you, you can start with walking and slowly raise yourself to a brisk walk and then perhaps, to a slow jog. Kickboxing and spinning is great and they are good for the heart too. Jumping rope is easy to do and very convenient if you travel a lot because all you need is a skipping rope for your daily dose of exercise. The idea is to focus on a higher intensity.
When you are brisk walking make sure your mind is alert. Be alert of your breathing, the natural surroundings and the sensations of your body. A state of alert relaxation will help you in fight anxiety and depression. It will improve mental clarity and make you more aware of your surroundings.
Don't tire yourself out. Yes, it's true that the very first day of your workout is going to be demanding because your body is not used to the grueling. But if you are still tired after a week's exercise, something is not right with your routine. Get professional help as a bad exercise routine is worse than none.
Make sure you eat something healthy before starting to exercise. A whole fruit, a couple of crackers or a glass of milk are good ideas. Never exercise on an empty stomach as that could increase your depressive episodes.
Not only will you beat depression for good with exercise, your body is also going to thank you for it.