Fighting Depression Through Exercise

Depression Among Men is a Serious Problem

According to the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health, approximately 6 million men suffer from depression every year in the US. That is a sobering figure. Depression strikes men of all ages and socioeconomic status. Many men suffer in silence and ignore reaching out for help. Common symptoms of depression include : feeling hopeless, sad or angry all the time, changes in appetite and sleep  (too much or too little), losing interests in favorite activities and hobbies and poor concentration, as well as difficulty making decisions. Unfortunately, some men even commit suicide due to their depression.

This does not have to be the case, various treatment options exist. Everything from medication to talk therapy and even shock therapy have been shown to be effective for treating depression. One of the simplest forms of treating depression though is exercise. Various studies on exercise over the years have shown that moderate exercise, several days a week impact a person’s mood.

How Exercise can Impact Depression

During exercise, certain chemicals are released in the body. One of these is a neurotransmitter called norepinephrine, which will immediately improve a person’s mood. At the same time, endorphins are released into the body, this chemical suppresses pain and increases the body’s immunity response. As the body feels stronger, so goes the mind. Exercise reduces the feelings of fatigue brought on by depression. It can also have a positive impact on someone’s sleeping pattern and appetite that was altered by depression. Unlike certain medications there are no negative side effects. Also, exercise can be done almost anywhere.

Exercise may not be a cure for depression but daily exercise can limit the impact of depressive symptoms. At the same time, it will create other benefits as well; exercise has been shown to lower the chances of heart disease and cancer. If unsure about where to start, see a physician to set-up an appropriate exercise plan. Even something as simple as a daily walk for 30 minutes or more can have a huge impact on someone’s depression.