Physical Exercises Relieve Stress and Depression

Learn how stress management exercises can improve your mind and mood

Stress Management

Stress Management Basics

Stress Management Exercise is Key to a Good Mood

Get Your Body In Shape Starting Today

Stress management is key to managing depression. Feeling stress over a long period of time adds to depression. Stress management can give you more energy and focus in the day. We offer some very simple steps you can try that require little energy while getting you started.

The Department of Health and Human Services along with most doctors in the medical community suggest that you engage in at least 2 hours and 30 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity, or 75 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic activity. This is critical for stress management. It’s best to do a combination of moderate and vigorous activity spread out over the week. The medical community also recommends strength training exercises at least twice a week. No specific amount of time for each strength training session is included in the guidelines. These recommendations are only for people free from compromising heart or lung conditions or other debilitating conditions.

Exercise offers a very therapeutic treatment for patients with mild to moderate major depression. Physical activity in the form of exercise has numerous health benefits, from improving lymphatic flow of the immune system, enhancing muscle performance, lowering fat and cholesterol levels, to enhancing cardiac contractility and overall function, just to name a few. Exercise improves the mind and causes the release of endorphins which helps to decrease pain and increase positive emotions. Here is a summary of the recommended amounts of exercise:

Aerobic Activity
At least 2 hours and 30 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity, or 75 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic activity is recommended. People are encouraged to do a combination of moderate and vigorous activity spread out over the week.
Strength Training
Strength training exercises should be done at least twice a week. No specific amount of time for each strength training session is included in the guidelines from the Department of Health and Human Services.
5
Min Per Week Moderate Activity
5
Min Per Week Vigorous Activity
0
Times a Week Strength Training

Stress Management: Take a 30 Minute Walk Every Day

Walking improves mood
Stress management begins with walking. Walking does wonders for our body and mind. It improves the health of our lungs, it improves our heart function, it enhances lymphatic flow which is good for our immune systems, it increases oxygenation of tissues which improves their function and waste removal, it stimulates our digestive tracks, and it clears our minds.

If you are inspired, try jogging 15 or more minutes every so often. Jogging carriers all the benefits of walking, and probably to a greater extent. Be sure to find stable flat ground to help ensure a safe trip around the block. We recommend jogging outside instead of on a treadmill. But if you really prefer a treadmill, then that is fine by us.

Ride a bicycle to improve mood

Stress Management: Ride a Bicycle to Enhance Body and Mind

If you prefer to ride a bike to walking or jogging, then great! Any form of exercise counts and has a cumulative effect on the body. The more you exercise, no matter what for it takes, the better. Riding a bicycle really engages your leg muscles and your shoulders, and improves your coordination and lung health which are key to stress management.

Try to ride for at least 30 minutes each time when possible. Stay away from busy streets and roads with holes in them, and always wear a helmet. Riding a bicycle should be enjoyable.

If you live in a city bike to a park or near a body of water like a lake or beach. The best places have sidewalks and trails specifically for bicyclists. Riding a bike along a busy street is dangerous and is generally not recommended for long distances.

Simple Exercises at Home to Fight Depression

You can try these exercises in the privacy of your own home without anyone bothering you. First start with 10 minutes of stretching. Second, work on your upper body strength doing simple arm curls with light weights. Do 12 reps and start with two sets. Next, try 10 push-ups to strengthen your shoulders, torso, and back muscles. Third, do a set of sit-ups to strengthen your abdomen and engage your leg muscles. Do as many as you feel comfortable doing, and stop if you feel pain. As you practice these simple exercises you may want to increase the number of repetitions over time.

Start by stretching
1. Stretch by holding your toes
Stretch and lean to each side
2. Stretch by leaning over each leg
Situps
4. Sit-ups strengthen your core
Pushups
5. Push-ups strengthen your whole body
Arm curls
3. Arm curls build arm and wrist strength