Why You Should Keep Exercising if You Struggle with Depression

Posted on July 4, 2018

A new study reveals the many ways in which depression can impact health and mortality. According to the researchers, the earlier you become active, the better your chances of preventing depression, which in the long run will help lower the risk of heart disease. The study also highlights the importance of overcoming a common dilemma among patients already struggling with depression: How does one cope with hopelessness and still find the motivation to exercise?

Previous studies showing that depressed patients can often perform about three-fourths of the exercise they’re asked to do. He suggests that patients with depression take several steps to boost their chances of success:
• Set aside a consistent time to exercise each day, but do not get discouraged by stretches of inactivity. Resume activities as soon as possible.
• Keep a log to track progress.
• Vary the exercises to avoid monotony. Keep the workout interesting and fun.
• Exercise with a friend.
• Task someone with holding you accountable for maintaining the exercise regimen.

Depression has been associated with several other chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, obesity, and chronic kidney disease, which can influence whether antidepressants are likely to help. For patients with these conditions, the more appropriate treatment may be exercise. This may be due, at least partially, to the general health effects of physical activity, including the fact that exercise reduces inflammation that may cause depression. By reducing inflammation, the risk for depression and heart disease are lowered.

Overall, there is enough evidence to show that the effect of low fitness on depression and heart disease is real, but further study is needed to establish the mechanism by which this effect happens.


Source material from PsychCentral

Mental Health News