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Help beat depression with exercise

Updated: Jul 8, 2021

When people think about the benefits of exercise, they generally think along the lines of losing weight, gaining muscle, being stronger or improved fitness. And all these things are right. Exercise gives you gains across all physical measures. But what about mental gains? Can exercise help your mental health?

The answer, of course, is yes! And more and more research is coming out that is proving that exercise can be a great option to assist in managing your mental health. Mental health is described as a person’s condition, with regard to their psychosocial and emotional well-being. There are all different levels of mental health, including anxiety, depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). However, depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, and in any one year, 1 million Australian adults can have depression. Symptoms of depression can occur alone, or alongside chronic illnesses such as diabetes or as a result of a chronic ongoing injury.

When we exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. These endorphins are manufactured in your brain, spinal cord and other parts of the body, and are released in response to brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. Endorphins are very powerful, not only triggering a positive, happy response in the body, but they can also reduce your perception of pain.

Evidence is now backing up that exercise can have a moderate clinical effect on depressive symptoms and may be as effective as psychological or pharmaceutical therapies for some individuals, and still it is often underutilised. Regular exercise has now been proven to:

  • Reduce stress

  • Improve sleep

  • Boost your self esteem

  • Improve your comorbities that are causing your depression

And the great thing is, it doesn’t have to be a specific type of exercise. It can just about be anything. So how can you decide what’s going to be the best type of exercise for you? Maybe you are unsure how to exercise due to your comorbidity?

Our Exercise Physiologist has dealt with many different cases with exercise and depression, particular with cases of depression and PTSD. She has seen both the mental and physical benefits with exercise, and is ready to help you today.

Contact the clinic today to find out more information, or book in online to get started. WA Health Group is based in Hilton, only 7 minutes away from the heart of Fremantle. Call today to make an appointment.

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