Exercise and Depression: Staying well

 

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I’ve already talked about Gratitude and Self compassion in relation to how I stay well, so today I thought I’d talk about Exercise. I have to admit I enjoy exercise and it’s always been a part of my life, either running, walking or swimming, but before I became unwell last year I wasn’t really looking after myself, and I was finding very little time to exercise.  During my major depressive episode it was very hard to exercise. A walk around the block would take me half and hour, everything felt so slow and hard, but I kept at it. Some days it was so hard to get out that door, but I would walk the kids to school and preschool, and that felt like an achievement. Each day I built on my walks, going a little further each time. Once I emerged from the depression I started running, and I love to run! I love the sense of freedom, that my body is strong and fit.

I decided as part of my recovery I wanted to improve on my running time, improve my strength and tone up. I started working with a wonderful trainer, Pers from Yummy mummy fitness. I have to admit when I first started I wasn’t very fit! But I really enjoyed the sessions, particularly the boxing. There is nothing like boxing to vent your frustrations for the week and make you feel fabulous! Yummy Mummy fitness also hold boot camp classes, and they are wonderful too! On the holidays I was able to take my kids along with me to the park, and they could play while I exercised, it’s a great option for mums!  Yesterday I did a fitness test with my trainer, and I was so excited to run an extra 200m in my running time trial than when I started out, that’s a huge achievement for me!

I have gained weight while taking anti-depressants, not much, just a few kilos, but I have to be really careful with what I eat, which is so hard some days! I also exercise every single day, I either walk for an hour, or run or do boot camp or work with my trainer. I exercise so much because I enjoy it, and I’m not suggesting at all that anyone else should do so much exercise.  Exercise need not be intensive or exhausting. A recent study by Dr. Andrea Dunn found that patients who did the equivalent of 35 minutes’ walking, six days per week, experienced a reduction in their level of depression by 47 percent.  This study, conducted at the Cooper Research Institute in Dallas, Texas, shows that as little as three hours of regular exercise a week reduces the symptoms of mild to moderate depression as effectively as Prozac and other antidepressants.

Thanks for letting me share my journey with you

Miss Lucy x

For more details regarding Yummy mummy fitness see: http://yummymummyfitness.co.nz/

 

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