Destination Hope Blog » Exercise and Depression

Exercise and Depression

Can depression be helped through exercise? Research says yes! Right now in the US, around a tenth of the population suffers from depression, with women 70% more likely than men to be depressed at some point in their lives. Although more serious cases of depression may need to be professionally treated with medication and counseling, it has been shown that even moderate exercise can improve quality of life for someone struggling with depression.

What Did the Research About Exercise and Depression Conclude?

One study followed a sample of middle-aged women, who each reported at least ten symptoms of depression, who did around 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week, such as tennis, golf, aerobics, swimming) or around 200 minutes of walking. They found that these women tended to have more energy, felt better emotionally, were more sociable and felt less restricted by their depression- even after three years. Not only did they feel better physically, but also psychologically.

According to the research results, more exercise was associated with greater improvements, but even moderate or mild exercise helped. The benefits could be seen nearly immediately, with the best results being shown after long-term regular exercise.

How Can I Know if I’m Depressed?

Depression is more than just a case of the blues. In fact, it can be a debilitating mental illness if left untreated, with symptoms so severe that it can prevent the sufferer from living a healthy, balanced, productive life. It is treatable, however, and the symptoms can be managed with help from medical professionals. If you or a loved one have felt sad, lethargic, irritable or negative, or if you’ve had trouble sleeping (or the opposite), had a change in appetite (eating too much or not at all) or felt that life wasn’t worth living, you or your loved one may be suffering from depression and it would be a very good idea to seek professional help as soon as possible.

Seeking Help For Depression

There is a wide range of options for those seeking help for depression, including treatment centers like Destination Hope. Their trained staff work with clients to create an individualized care plan which may include a combination of medication, counseling and other treatments (including exercise in their residential facilities). Some clients choose to stay at the treatment facility for the duration of their program so they can focus on getting better, while others enter a program where they can sleep in their own bed at night while attending sessions at the treatment center during the day.

If you or a woman you love is having problems with drug abuse, alcohol dependency or mental illness, women’s drug rehab may be the answer.  Remember that recovery from addiction and alcohol abuse treatment means learning how to cope with intensely emotional situations, and identifying when you need help and support.  Treatment for addiction relapse, counseling and aftercare can help you do this, so please call us today.  Destination Hope: The Women’s Program is a full service addiction and women’s health treatment facility in Florida for women who suffer from substance abuse and behavioral health issues.