Exercise – Relieving anxiety and depression

Statistics show that at some point in a lifetime 1 in 4 people will suffer from a mental health disorder and even though this figure is significant, most do not know enough about the various conditions.
 
Those most commonly diagnosed are anxiety and depression. These are considered a serious illness and as such will require diagnosis from a medical professional and appropriate treatment. Treatment options can vary although this is more commonly a form of talking therapy such as a support group, counselling, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) or prescribed medication. It may be that you need to try different therapies or medications / doses of medication to find what works for any given individual.
 
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Looking closer at the difference between the two illnesses:
 
Depression – Depression is classified as a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and general loss of interest. Also called major depressive disorder or clinical depression, it affects how you feel, think, behave and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems. This may present itself with trouble doing normal day-to-day activities, and for some can even feel as if life isn’t worth living.
 
Anxiety – Anxiety is a general term for several disorders that cause nervousness, fear, apprehension, and worrying.
These disorders affect how we feel and behave, and they can manifest real physical symptoms. Mild anxiety is vague and unsettling, while severe anxiety can be extremely debilitating, having a serious impact on daily life.
 
To reduce your chances of conditions of this nature, there are some simple changes you can make such as:
-Eating a healthy diet
-Regular Exercise
-Meditation
-Taking time to do what makes you happy
-Avoid alcohol, caffeine & nicotine
 
One thing that often gets overlooked in terms of a treatment is regular exercise, however just a couple of hours a week can dramatically help towards treating or even preventing an illness. Here are the benefits of exercise in relation to mental health:
 
-Improved sleep
-Less tension, stress & mental fatigue
-Naturally boosts energy levels
-Gives you a focus in life & motivation
-A sense of achievement
-Less anger & frustration
-Promotes a better social life
-Promotes a healthy appetite
-A form of enjoyment
 

In terms of what type of exercise you need to do, there is no right answer. This is 100% down to the individual, you need to find something that works for you. Weather this is walking, swimming, light jogging, weight training, yoga, Pilates or even a team sport. Ideally you should exercise 5 times a week for a minimum of 30 minutes per session, but take time to find something you enjoy to start with. This been said one thing that is worth a go for everybody is Yoga. Yoga is generally people’s go-to exercises that makes you relaxed. But yoga not only has positive effects in the short term. Studies have shown that people who take yoga classes experience significant reduction in anxiety, depression, anger and neurotic symptoms. Yoga focuses on deep breaths and internal focus, which can be very beneficial for people dealing with anxiety or depression.
 
You may not think that exercise is for you or that it’s something outside of your comfort zone however I strongly encourage you give it a go. Using a personal trainer qualified in GP Referral will give you the confidence and knowledge you need to be able to get the best out of your sessions, helping to set goals, give you motivation and drive to improve both your physical and mental well-being.