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Can Low-Intensity Workout Help Fight Depression?

Read on as we discuss 10 ways through which low-intensity workouts help fight depression.

Can Low-Intensity Workout Help Fight Depression?

Engaging in physical activity provides a healthy distraction from negative thoughts and feelings

Low-intensity workouts can be incredibly beneficial for mental health, particularly in combating depression. In this article, we discuss various ways through which adding low-intensity workouts to one's routine can help fight off depression.

Here are 10 ways in which low-intensity workouts can help:

1. Release of endorphins

Low-intensity workouts stimulate the release of endorphins, which are neurotransmitters that act as natural painkillers and mood elevators. This release can help reduce feelings of sadness and stress.

2. Reduction of stress hormones

Exercise helps lower the levels of stress hormones like cortisol in the body, which can alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety.

3. Improvement in sleep quality

Regular low-intensity exercise can promote better sleep patterns, which are often disrupted in individuals with depression. Quality sleep is essential for overall mental well-being.

4. Increase in brain chemicals

Exercise increases the production of neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, which play key roles in regulating mood and emotions. This biochemical balance can help alleviate depressive symptoms.

5. Distraction and focus

Engaging in physical activity provides a healthy distraction from negative thoughts and feelings, allowing individuals to focus their attention on the present moment and the sensations of movement.

6. Social interaction

Participating in group low-intensity workouts, such as yoga or walking groups, can provide opportunities for social interaction and support, which are important factors in combating depression.

7. Sense of achievement

Even small achievements in low-intensity workouts, such as completing a short walk or a gentle yoga session, can boost self-esteem and provide a sense of accomplishment, counteracting feelings of helplessness often associated with depression.

8. Mind-body connection

Activities like yoga, tai chi, and qigong emphasise the connection between the mind and body, promoting relaxation, mindfulness, and a sense of inner peace, which can be particularly beneficial for managing depressive symptoms.

9. Regulation of circadian rhythms

Low-intensity exercise can help regulate circadian rhythms, the body's internal clock that governs sleep-wake cycles. Establishing a consistent exercise routine can contribute to better overall mood and energy levels throughout the day.

10. Reduction in inflammation

Chronic inflammation has been linked to depression, and regular low-intensity exercise has anti-inflammatory effects on the body. By reducing inflammation, exercise may help alleviate depressive symptoms and improve overall health.

If you're new to exercise or have been inactive for a while, start with gentle activities and gradually increase intensity and duration as your fitness improves. This approach can help prevent injuries and ensure a sustainable exercise routine.

Before starting any exercise program, especially if you have existing health conditions or concerns, it's important to consult with a healthcare provider to ensure that the chosen activities are safe and appropriate for you.

By incorporating low-intensity workouts into your routine and keeping these considerations in mind, you can harness the powerful benefits of exercise for both your physical and mental well-being.

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Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for a qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.


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