Regular, prescribed (for you only) exercise improves mood, effectively treating depression and anxiety.
Many studies have shown that exercise induces certain neurochemicals to be released and help to reduce depression. Studies have also shown exercise to increase your sense of self-worth, self-confidence, and overall life satisfaction. Additionally studies have shown the brain to increase 'neuroplasticity' or brain growth through consistent lengths of exercise regimes.
No matter what your condition, needs or age, exercise is good for you. The one issue for everyone is what is the right exercise regime for you? Prescribed exercise in our opinion, is the best way to go, even if you are doing other forms of activity its to good to have support for those specifics. Sometimes a set back in physical ability can alter the way a person feels about exercise. Things such as knee operation, cancer diagnosis or a fall for instance. These can also compound the effect of the way a person feels and overall mood.
How does Exercise improve Mood and overall Wellbeing? Here are 3 ways-
- Exercise is a natural anti-inflammatory. In one study, the effects of physical activity intensity on depression symptoms and inflammation showed the moderate to intense exercise reduced depression, and moderate exercise reduces inflammation and depression. Limited movement (mild) and no movement did not positively effect either depression or inflammation markers. In order to properly exercise, supervision is required for most of us, which is very helpful to know what to do and be sure its completed safely and correctly.
- Supervised prescribed exercise improves self-worth and self-awareness. Increased confidence can achieved by being supported specifically for your needs and condition by a caring and knowledgeable person, The sense of knowing someone has your best interest and is providing a safe space is key. Something that is often diminished in group dynamics. For some its even traumatizing, resulting in critical depressive feelings. A study showed that participating in resistance training exercises improved physical self-worth, physical strength, physical condition and overall self-worth. This can translate into improved behaviour and emotional regulations as well for those with special challenges.
- Exercise can improve 'brain growth'. Essentially the overall effects of exercise are associated with neurogenesis (the process which increases the number of brain cells). Also neuroplasticity (the ability of the brain to form new connections and even change wiring) is positively stimulated. In a study of moderate exercise, it was found that the myokines (special signaling molecules elicited with increase strength exercise) will improve brain and other organ functions in those over 50years of age. In the brain, particularly improving the functioning of the hippocampus - hippocampal function plays a critical role in learning, emotional responses, and memory formation and storage.
Yes its difficult at times when you feel "down" to get into exercise! For the most part, any small step towards moving is positive - walking outside, trying a routine of aerobics, gardening or lifting things. If it takes getting assistance and supervision for exercise, the benefits are great. The above 3 mood altering proofs are reason enough to get going, or keep going. 😀
J Biol Psych. 2018 Mar. Paolucci, Loukov
Sports Med 2019 Dec. Collins, Booth, Duncan
Cell Bio Sci 2019 Sept. Lei, Wu, Xu