In light of the recent news surrounding the increase in suicide rates, Paspa Physical Therapy felt the need to talk about exercise and its benefits on overall mood and quality of life. As mental illness is becoming more pervasive within our society, physical activity and exercise is on the rise in its effectiveness to improve mood and increase mental health and wellness. Current research on depression, anxiety and exercise show both psychological and physical benefits to participants. We don’t need a life-altering event or diagnosis to start incorporating simple lifestyle changes into our daily schedules, all of which have a lasting benefit to our mood, health and well-being.
The symptoms of depression and anxiety can manifest both intensely and suddenly, sometimes overpowering the desire to move and be active. Importantly, exercise is a healthy and positive shift in focus that creates a separation from cycles of negative thought which often exacerbate depression and anxiety. Participation in regular exercise fuels motivation in achieving small goals while healthily supporting body image and self-confidence.
Exercises include a wide-range of activities, all of which increase your activity level and potentially help you feel better. Here are some examples,
- going for a long walk
- choosing to take the stairs
For balance and consistency, how you think of exercise is a contributing factor to the ways in which you incorporate it more frequently throughout your day. Rather than relating to exercise as a chore, as little as 10-15 minutes of the activities you enjoy have the potential to be longer-lasting. These small changes in the way you think about and approach exercise supports more movement, deters anxiety and depression and can also be a healthy way to cope and manage symptoms. It is important to note that exercise does not replace the support and care of a mental health professional or prescribed medication however, it is supportive to these methods of treatment.
Reach out to us at Paspa Physical Therapy if you need guidance and support becoming more physically active or have questions about programs and exercise.