HomeSite MapContact
Sex, Body & Health
Your Mind & Feelings
My Story
Healthy Eating
Natural Health
Keep Fit
Look It Up
Video & Games
HealthyLinks
Hotlines
Email Article   Print Article   Rate This Article   Related Articles 
 
Back     

Get an Emotional Lift with Exercise

Get an Emotional Lift with Exercise



Can exercise help me feel good?
How does exercise help?
What kind of exercise will make me feel better?
Is exercise a replacement for therapy?


Sure, exercise gives your body and metabolism a boost, but did you know that it can lift your spirits too? Learn how moving your feet can move your mind. back to top

Can exercise help me feel good?
Girls who exercise regularly have lower rates of depression and anxiety than inactive people. That's a fact you can use. Of course, it doesn't mean that if you exercise regularly, you'll never feel sad or worried. But if you've got the blues or the blahs, take a deep breath—and get moving. You might be surprised to see how good exercise can make you feel! back to top

How does exercise help?
Exercise increases your brain's production of chemical stress fighters, like serotonin, which help keep the blues at bay. Physical activity can make different parts of your body—like your cardiovascular system, kidneys, and nervous system—communicate with each other more efficiently. When your body experiences physical stress (say, from exercise), it is programmed to prepare for emotional stress. That means exercise can trick your body into producing more of those brain chemicals that help you handle stressful situations. back to top

What kind of exercise will make me feel better?
You don't have to run a marathon or climb Mount Everest to get a lift from physical fitness. How long you exercise and how hard you exercise aren't nearly as important as getting moving. Moderate cardiovascular exercise, like walking, swimming, or riding a bicycle, can give your spirits a short vacation. Keep it up, and you just might find that you feel a little less anxious all the time.

Working out with a Fitness Friend, learning a new sport like basketball, or just getting outdoors for a change of scenery all fit into the exercise equation when it comes to improving your mood. Along with exercise, eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, and meditating or practicing yoga for relaxation can all help you de-stress and worry less. back to top

Is exercise a replacement for therapy?
Exercise is a great anxiety fighter and mood lifter, but it's not a replacement for therapy. If you're seeing a therapist or taking medication for depression or anxiety, don't use exercise as an excuse to stop. Talk with your health professional about how exercise can fit into your treatment. back to top

 
 
 
Last Modified Date: 3/22/2001
RELATED ARTICLES (back to the top)
Metabolism: Your Body’s Fuel Furnace
Depression: More Than Just a Bad Hair Day
Pump It Up with Cardio Exercise
Do Sports: So You Want to Play Basketball?
Yoga: The Road to Relaxation