Importance of regular exercise to help deal with depression

Many individuals today experience depression, especially since the pandemic has taken its toll on the majority of the population.


Several studies have shown that simple activities and simply being outside may improve mood and can help ease seasonal depression symptoms.

 

Exercise and Seasonal Affective Disorder

A lot of people suffer from seasonal affective disorder throughout the winter, when days are short and nights are long (SAD). While many people rejoice at the coming of winter, many who suffer from SAD find that this time of year is more conducive to hiding than celebrating.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that comes and goes with the seasons. The mood of a person changes when the sun sets and remains low.

Exercising helps release feel-good endorphins and other natural neurochemicals that can improve the overall sense of well-being. 


Many studies have explored the usefulness of exercise in reducing depressive symptoms. The majority of these investigations have found a favorable impact


Structured exercise has been demonstrated to be helpful in reducing the symptoms of depressive disorders. Researchers have been studying the link between exercise and depression since the early 1900s. 


Cardiovascular exercise and using exercise machines reduced the incidence of depression. So did stretching and yoga. The researchers discovered that every four hours of extra workouts per week reduced the probability of recurrence by 17%.


Vitamin D and Depression

Cleaning, playing catch with your kids, or washing your car may all help to lift your spirits. One possible explanation is that sunlight has been found to help in the production of serotonin, a mood-enhancing chemical released by the brain.

Vitamin D insufficiency has been linked to depression in studies. In a 2013 meta-analysis, researchers discovered that study participants with depression also had low vitamin D levels. According to the same study, those with low vitamin D levels had a substantially higher risk of depression.

Inadequate vitamin D levels, the researchers believe, may play a role in depression and other mental diseases since vitamin D is needed for optimal brain function. Vitamin D receptors were discovered in the same parts of the brain linked to depression in a 2005 study.

Exercise can also reduce immune system chemicals that can worsen depression. Exercising with Vitamin D plays a vital role in physical and mental health.


A 2004 study showed that five to ten minutes of sun exposure on the arms and legs 2 to 3 times a week help sustain vitamin D adequacy. It illustrates how vitamin D is beneficial physically and mentally. 


As helpful as physical fitness is, including it into your weekly routine will help you break free from the depression trap. Don't forget to get your daily dosage of vitamin D too!