The Skinny on Walking Away Your Depression
Many medical professionals realize the benefit that regular exercise can have on people suffering with depression. Several mental health experts are now prescribing their patients with depression their very own pedometer. Studies show that regular exercise can increase neurotransmitter activity and improve mood. For people who suffer with the debilitating symptoms of depression, this can be welcoming news. But too often, those with depression can’t find the motivation to stick with, let alone start, any exercise program. However, a pedometer may be just what the doctor ordered.
A pedometer is an instrument that measures the amount of steps a person takes during any given time period. It can calculate total distance or time too. For people who are depressed, even getting out of bed can present a big challenge. But if you wear a pedometer, you will realize that you have taken several steps just walking from the bed to the bathroom. And walking back logs a few more. Although this may not seem like exercise to most, for people who are in the grips of depression, that can be seen as a mild success.
Whether you choose to use a pedometer or not, try increasing your activity level each day. Rather than walking only to the mailbox to check your mail, try walking to the neighbor’s mailbox or even a few houses away. Each day, increase the level of activity slightly. Eventually, the pedometer will be reading more and more steps, and the neurotransmitters will be releasing that ever important feel-good hormone that will improve your mood. As your mood elevates, begin to ratchet up the intensity of your exercise program. Play some tennis with a friend, go for a swim or take a long hike. All of these exercises will engage your mind in something you enjoy and will continue to allow you to reap the benefits of increased neurotransmitter activity.
Participating in exercise with a partner will not only make it more fun, it will hold you more accountable and will give you a support system when you need one.
Regular exercise, along with a therapy regimen and other treatment prescribed by your doctor, will help get you on the road to recovery. Walking is a great way to start healing your mind. Even if you only take a few steps each day, you will soon be on the track to better mental and physical health by incorporating walking into your daily routine.