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Easy Exercise to Lift Depression

by Samantha De Bono

Exercise can elevate our mood, it's a fact! I know the hardest thing to do when feeling depressed, or even when we feel down, is donning a pair of trainers, T-shirt and tracky-bottoms and hot footing it to the gym. However, research shows that exercise not only improves our physical health, but our mental health too.

Instead of reaching for the biscuit tin, or drowning your sorrows in alcohol or drugs (all of which are proven to make us feel even worse in the long term) try a bit of exercise. I'm not talking about getting up at 6am and going for a jog, I'm not even suggesting an aerobic class, but instead of driving to pick the children up from school, how about walking, or doing some gardening, how about putting on your favourite CD and dancing (if you've got young children, get them to join in, they will love it).

The great news is, it only takes 30 minutes of exercise a day to help lift our mood and to prevent depression from coming on in the first place. Professor Jasper Smits, a psychologist, at the Southern Methodist University in Dallas said "Individuals who exercise, report fewer symptoms of anxiety and depression, and lower levels of stress and anger." His research showed that "After just 25 minutes, your mood improves, you are less stressed, you have more energy – and you'll be motivated to exercise again tomorrow. A bad mood is no longer a barrier to exercise – it is the very reason to exercise."

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