It’s already known that exercise is good for the body. But did you know it can also boost your mood; improve sleep; and help deal with depression, anxiety, stress, and more? People who exercise tend to feel an enormous sense of well-being, which is a powerful medicine for many common mental health challenges. It’s not necessary to be an exercise fanatic to reap the benefits. Studies show that exercise can treat mild to moderate depression as effectively as antidepressant medication. It promotes many kinds of brain changes, including new activity patterns that promote feelings of calm and well-being. Exercise is also a natural and effective anti-anxiety treatment and a physical and mental energy booster through the release of endorphins.
Many of us find it hard enough to motivate ourselves to exercise, but when you feel depressed, anxious, stressed or have another mental health problem, it can seem doubly difficult. When you’re under the cloud of anxiety or depression, setting big goals like completing a marathon or working out for an hour every morning will only leave you more despondent if you fall short. Better to set achievable goals and build up from there. Plains Area Mental Health takes pride in treating the whole person by assessing both mental health conditions as well as substance use disorder conditions. Call one of our offices today or take our free online assessment found on this website.
P.S. Physical activity such as regular walking, not just a formal exercise program, may help improve mood.