A study in the Journal of Sports and Exercise Psychology found that:
It just puts all of us in a good mood when we hear this because depression changes our body chemistry. We flat out don’t feel like moving let alone working out to break a sweat. At the same time we know that we need to be doing something different than what we are doing. First and foremost we need that mindset of doing something. Let's focus on how to alter that. A family and friend support system to go along with this change in mindset wouldn’t hurt either.
Here are 10 suggestions of how to get up and move:
Let's face it, when stuck in depression it is feeling stuck from doing any activity or even thinking about an activity. So the first thing to do is get into the mindset of doing something. Turn on some music that gets you going then write a list of things that you can do. Visually see yourself doing an activity and how good you would feel after that activity.
When a person is depressed happy thoughts are not easily attainable. It would help to write down a list of things that you did once upon a time that brought some happiness and fulfilment when you did them. If it’s hard to find the words, make collages on poster boards or manilla folders of pictures of what you find enjoyable. Put them up around your living space so you can see these things when you get up in the morning and when you go to bed. This mindset prepares you and your mind to now do those things that you have written down or displayed in your collages.
You know, the one that has exercises built right into the game. Try it out it can turn out to be a reason for a game night at your house. It is much more enjoyable to play with the grandchildren than by yourself as well. They might be better than you at first so if you practice when they are not around you might surprise them when they come for a visit. Don't forget to practice often.
Slow gentle body movements with your arms and legs along with controlled breathing technique fills the body with better blood and energy flow. Along with sharing this experience with a close friend or family member, this promotes happiness and well being. There is research but it doesn't matter how much the research says unless you want to participate. Once you try this for three months and simply pay attention to how good you feel, then go find the research on the internet.
Yoga is another slow body movement exercise program. In yoga there are many different levels but all of them are very beneficial to the body's well being not only physically but mentally as well. If done properly then the practice of Yoga will put you in a deep meditative state that allows your body to relax and sink into the stretches. One of the benefits of that deep meditative state that comes with the deep breathing is better blood flow to the body. The alignment of joints, in the hips, knees, shoulders and vertebrae is another. As you come out of your session, again if it’s done properly, you will feel refreshed, rejuvenated and ready to take on the day. Participating in yoga is much more fun when you participate with a close friend or family member. I keep saying this because of the social factor. When we are depressed we really don't want to be around people because of our inner feelings. But over time being around people is a good thing because we find our inner feelings more accepting over time. This will then contribute to our overall attitude of the way we look at things at that moment. This moment then builds to other moments and so on. What you do not want to do at this point is to not look back and be upset again.
There is great research on how a 10 week strength training program will help a person with depression reduce the symptoms of depression, especially if you want to socialize and get to know the trainer. Also weight lifting and strength training is all about mastery and control. These exercises require your full attention and concentration. Also after 10 weeks you will see the results on your body and attitude from your routine workouts.
Also you might be depressed and feel like crap but an hour a day turns into a good routine a week later. But face the facts you are going through this experience with a great looking trainer. Just imagine the same mental work out for an hour session with a fully dressed mental health therapist.
After your workout and you are lying there with your muscles aching and out of breath. Really?! You connect the dots.
Not to mention the research on working out compared to antidepressants. Research will show that both of them have the same results. Look into it.
Bounce any way that you can, big trampoline, little trampoline, big exercise balls...etc. It just feels good to be lighter than gravity, even if it’s for a moment. The lymphatic system gets pumping and starts kicking into gear cleaning out unwanted toxins.
The mini trampoline is an amazing piece of equipment because it is easy to store and easy to get out when you want to use it.
When I had mine I would start out just standing on it then I would get off. I would ask myself and talk myself out of the exercise by asking myself “what is the point?” I then started to listen to music that had a good walking beat. I decided if I could just walk to the beat of the music on this mini tramp that some exercise would be better than no exercise. Plus I was in the privacy of my own home. I started slow and in no time I got lost in the music. I didn't know how long I was walking to the beat. Because I was in my own little world with no one around me.
Bottom line I felt better on the days that I walked on the mini tramp then on the days I didn't. I found my exercise, I hope you find yours.
There is something about what some people call grounding. This is when you connect with the earth. There are no shoes nor socks between you and the ground beneath you and you can feel of it's strength. The cool grass can feel so enlivening and refreshing to your feet especially on a hot summer's day. Run, walk, even lay down under the shade of a tree. Play frisbee with a child. If you are daring enough, take time to roll down a grassy hill. Lay at the bottom out of breath with hair and clothes full of grass and leaves. Taking time to really connect with the earth and enjoy the simplicity of nature around you can bring you this peace for gratitude and contemplation in your mind.
Garden therapy has its rewards.
Hopefully you’ve had an experience with working in a garden before the signs of depression set into your life. There is no way to convey the feeling that comes after a good hard day of working in a garden. Not to mention the joy that comes from the harvest.
The other benefits are connecting with nature and finding and discovering the value that comes from digging in the dirt. There are rich mineral deposits that can be found in the dirt. If absorbed into your body through working with the dirt it can actually be very beneficial and help alleviate some of the symptoms of depression.
Try it or better yet discover it.