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    Learn how exercise can help you manage symptoms related to major depression.

    Depressed?


    Begin an effective exercise program to better manage symptoms of major depression.


    People walking together.

    With the support of your doctor, family or friends, you can safely and confidently move forward to planning a sound fitness routine. A fitness routine doesn't necessarily mean you'll be 'pumping iron' at the local gym. Starting an exercise or activity program is extremely beneficial for people managing depression and can be as simple as going for a daily bike ride, walk, or other rhythmic mildly challenging activity. Starting with walking (if able), you will notice health benefits and physical results from a relatively small amount of physical effort.

    If thirty minutes is too much to take on at once, you can simply divide a thirty minute workout into 3 ten-minute or 6 five-minute workouts throughout the day. Walking around the neighborhood three times a day may seem a little silly, but the simple pleasure of accomplishing a goal is very satisfying.

    Tips to becoming more active:

    • Be a 'problem solver.'
    • Engage in mild rhythmic activity or outdoor exercise, like riding a bike.
    • Divide large tasks into 'bite-size' pieces. Any mountain can be moved—even if only a teaspoon at a time.
    • Plan for steady, measurable, improvements in the way you perceive your feelings and goals.

    Once you get used to walking, or some daily activity, you may want to plan more ambitious goals. Getting healthier, feeling alive, and taking bold steps forward is what makes any of us live with passion. Stop. Take in a deep breath. Now imagine that deep breath followed by a confident, satisfying, exhalation of a job well done! Reaching out, taking a step forward, could be just what you need to push long term depression out of your life—for good.

    When 'the blues' turns into depression

    Most of us have experienced 'the blues' or brief periods of sadness at some point in our life. When temporary sadness develops into depression or a depressive disorder, described as an illness that significantly interferes with everyday life, it must be taken seriously and treated appropriately. If depression is not properly assessed, diagnosed, and treated by a doctor, a depressed person can experience great emotional pain, exhibit hopelessness, and lose all desire for healthy living. If you suspect that you are experiencing depression, contact your doctor today.

    Positive thinking and physical activity can change your life.

    Even when the symptoms of depression seem to make you feel exhausted, it is extremely beneficial to be as active as you can within your physical limitations. This is an opportune time to take advantage of help being offered by your doctor, family, or a friend. Try to spend a little time everyday with positive influences. One shared word of blessing can lift heaviness in a remarkable way.

    Become active and encourage a friend.

    Think back to when you might have encouraged a friend. You may not have realized it at the time, but you may have made an immeasurable impact on that friends life—in fact, you may have helped to save it. Explore how your decisions and behavior could deliver positive or negative results—before you commit to them.

    The power of positive and 'problem solving thinking,' along with adherence to your doctors suggestions, prescribed medications, and everyday active living, can help feelings of hopelessness fade and in time—disappear.


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