We are at the beginning Brain Awareness Week.
I thought this would be a great time to address depression and how exercise can help.
Depression affects many women in mid-life. It is twice more prevalent in women than in men. As women near menopause, the change in hormone levels is one of the most common factors that may precipitate depression.
These physical changes often have an emotional consequence.
Depression can manifest as:
Stress management, proper nutrition, and physical exercise all have enormous beneficial effects on improving mental well-being. I discuss how you can improve depression with food in previous blogs. You can find those articles here.
But today, I want to focus on the benefits of exercise and why this plays a key role in managing and alleviating the symptoms of depression and lifting your mood.
The truth is, exercise is probably the last thing you want to do when you are in a depressed state, but it's probably the best thing you can do for yourself. You don't have to run a marathon. In the beginning, even 5 minutes of walking, or some other form of exercise you might enjoy, can help break the cycle of depression.
This is what happens when you get moving. Exercise leads to the release of endorphins in the brain that give you that natural high. This makes you feel good and promotes a healthy mental state. You can’t help but feel great and be energized when you exercise!
Exercise also helps you feel accomplished and gives you a higher sense of self-worth. And of course, as you feel better, you will be able to see yourself and the world around you through a healthier and happier lens.
If you are looking for help in forming the exercise habit, look back on this wonderful article I wrote back in 2016 called, Begin with a single step: 5 ways to help you form the exercise habit.
Find all the help you need to be at your healthiest - inside and out from my book Healthy Body for Life - A Guide for Women Over 40. Get your signed copy right here.