Can Exercise Help Fight Anxiety and Depression?

Can Exercise Help Fight Anxiety and Depression?

Mental illness has not always gotten the kind of attention it does today.  And although our knowledge is expanding, there is still so much left to learn about it.  20% of Canadians will go through a mental illness at some point in their lifetime. Depression affects almost 12% of Canadians whereas anxiety reportedly affects 5% of the households.  A major concern within the medical sect with regards to mental illness is not only the stigma but the diagnosis and treatment isn’t so black and white.  Some may experience symptoms of depression, for example, but many people confuse the natural ups and downs of life with this mental illness.

Mental illness affects much more than your moods and both depression and anxiety take a toll on your physical health not to mention relationships and your career.  With that being said, it shouldn’t come as a big surprise that physical activity can help provide balance and improvement to one’s mood and emotions.

Our friends at Physiomed have suggested these three physical activities that not only benefit your body, but will help improve your mental health.

Yoga

Yoga

Yoga tends to involve a lot of deep and slow breathing, which can help calm the mind and instill focus.  It is referred to as a ‘complimentary’ treatment as it doesn’t tackle the overall bigger problem, but by alleviating symptoms such as stress and anger.

Hiking

Hiking

It is without a doubt that being immersed in nature is definitely relaxing.  Hiking, forcing yourself to be unplugged and take a mental break does wonders in regards to anxiety and depressions.  It helps to reduce stress and is a great simple workout to get your body moving.

Running

Running

Running may require a bit of effort, especially when depression can make you want to stay in bed for days, but the benefits are endless.  It is high energy enough to make significant changes concerning your serotonin and norepinephrine levels, both of which improves your moods.  These neurotransmitters also provide happiness and energy in order to balance out anxiety and depression.

Mental health should be taken just as seriously as your physical health.  Many people will ignore signs of mental illness in fear of appearing weak or not knowing how it would be received by those close to them.  It is important to overcome the stigma and acknowledge the courage it takes to seek help.

For more on this, and other health topics, visit Physiomed’s blog here!

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