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Vitamin Stuff Blog

A Health, Nutrition, and Alternative Medicine Blog

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Depression, Social Interaction, Endorphins, and Exercise

The last thing that most people want to do when they are feeling low is head to an aerobics class, but that is exactly what they should do according to research. Exercise helps uplift one’s mood and can help people feel better socially, biologically and physically.

A survey conducted by the Mental Health Foundation found that out of 200 English general practitioners, 22% suggest exercise to their patients in addition to antidepressants to help them cope with mild forms of depression. Three years ago only 5% of general practitioners were suggesting exercise for depression. The same survey found that 61% felt that exercise was ‘effective or very effective’ for depression, up from 41% three years ago.

According to research, exercise helps depression in a myriad of ways. Going to a gym or other social arena for working out allows for social interaction and can reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation. It also allows for meeting others who are also bettering themselves and working on self improvement goals. It increases body image and self esteem, allows for goal setting and achievement and most of all, releases endorphins – feel-good brain chemicals that promote well being and uplift the mood.

So the next time you’re feeling low, instead of grabbing the nearest sweet-tooth satisfier and vegetating in front of the TV, lace up your sneakers and head out the door!








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