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Exercise is Natural Medicine for Depression

I know what some will say... I just can't get myself moving.  If you need motivation, here is a reason why.  Exercise increases neurotransmitters, the stuff in the brain responsible for regulating physical and mental well being. Here is some research you can read.

For my money, you don't have to be an athlete or exhaust yourself to get some benefit from exercise.  Start slow and small, then increase intensity as you get better.  The most important thing is to do something every day so you body develops a 'need' for moving.  I'd say you'll feel that 'need' in about 3 weeks at which point it becomes easier to get going.  Developing this healthy habit will help with your depression.

Many will also say that exercise takes time which they don't have.  As my mother said, "you have time for what you make time for".  You can do something just about anywhere!

If you think that exercising requires money, I'll show you how you can get in shape for free!  For the record, I haven't spent a dime on gym, equipment, or special clothing in the last 15 years.

Small step ideas (15 minutes):
Walk - around the block, up/down stairs, to the store, etc.
Stand (instead of sitting) - put a bankers box on your table/desk and use it as the stand for computer, book,
Work your muscles - lift your leg while sitting, get a 16 oz. can and repeatedly lift it in your hand while sitting, reading, watching TV, squeeze you buttocks while waiting at a red light
Play - chase after your child or pet, learn to juggle with safe items in your place (tennis ball, cotton balls, oranges, pens)

Of course, if you are ready to do some more intensive exercise, please do but don't overdo.  Getting muscle aches and pain may stop you from continuing activities.

Here is my daily 35-minute routine:

easy side lunges with arm movement (warm up about 5 minutes)

I watch sports while doing this (the hard work about 20 minutes)
5 sets of:
10 squats with side lift of alternate legs
10 squats with back lift of alternate legs
10 squats with front lift of alternate legs
10 push-ups (hands on the seat of a chair)
50 steps marching in place
(sometimes I use cans in my hands for the squats)

floor work - crunches, bicycle legs, torso twist, whatever I feel like (about 5 minutes)

stretch, relax, breath (about 5 minutes)

I hope this inspires you to start your journey in movement.


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