Stopping Exercise Increases Depression

Those who are going through stress and depression are often advised to exercise and avoid sedentary lifestyle as it has been proven that regular physical activity increases the release of feel-good hormones, endorphins which boosts our moods and promotes relaxation and calmness. 

A study conducted by Black Dog Institute has found that regular exercise of any intensity can  protect against depression, with mental health benefits seen regardless of age or gender -- and just one hour per week can help.

Results of this study also showed that people who reported doing no exercise at all had a 44% increased chance of developing depression compared to those who were exercising one to two hours a week.

women exercising with dumbells
Do not stop exercising; it can increase your depressive symptoms.

However what will happen if you stop exercising and revert back to your old sedentary habits? According to new mental health research from the University of Adelaide, stopping exercise can result in increased depressive symptoms.

Julie Morgan, one of the authors of the study says  "Adequate physical activity and exercise are important for both physical and mental health.

At least 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise a week is recommended to maintain health and prevent depression, or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity exercise for added health benefits."

Stopping exercise can worsen depression in as little as three days, in some cases says says Professor Bernhard Baune, Head of Psychiatry at the University of Adelaide.

Other studies showed that people's depressive symptoms increased after the first one or two weeks, which is still quite soon after stopping their exercise, he adds.
yoga poses ease depression
Yoga practice is found to reduce anxiety and stress more than other forms of exercises.
So if you are going through stress and depression, do not forget to exercise at least three times a week and do not give up on exercising or any other form of physical activity as it can possibly trigger your depressive symptoms. (Also read Depression - Recognize & Tackle it. )

My Experience

To relate my own experience, when I was going through depression a few years ago I had joined a yoga class.

The instructor had specifically designed a set of yoga poses that could ease my symptoms and within 1-2 days of trying these yoga poses along with some breathing exercises and pranayamas, my anxiety and stress had significantly decreased.

I can't stress enough of the benefits of yoga poses on one's mental health. I'm sure most other forms of exercise also help ease depression but yoga is a class apart.

In fact, there are many studies that state so.

A Harvard study says that yoga regimen can reduce the impact of exaggerated stress responses which is likely to be helpful for both anxiety and depression.

The study also found that yoga functions like any self-soothing technique such as meditation, relaxation, exercise, or even socializing with friends. By the way, here are some yoga poses that can reduce depression.

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  1. Regular exercise can boost your mood if you have depression

  2. "Any type of exercise is useful, as long as it suits you and you do enough of it."Exercise should be something you enjoy; otherwise, it will be hard to find the motivation to do it regularly.

  3. Manjushree9:02 PM

    "Adequate physical activity and exercise are important for both physical and mental health

  4. Leela9:04 PM

    ceasing all forms of vigorous physical activity can cause an individual to develop depressive symptoms


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