The impact of increased activity on depression

Exercise combats depression by enhancing endorphins — natural chemicals that create a sense of euphoria. Some research has suggested aerobic exercise can have an especially strong antidepressant effect.

Harvard Health Publishing, Harvard Medical School

February is American Heart Month. Here’s some tips on the impacts of being heart conscious with physical activity and depression.

Physical activity can include a variety of activities such as walking, running, weight lifting, playing a sport like basketball, stretching, and yoga. The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes of moderately intense aerobic activity weekly. Are you getting the suggested amount of activity in your week?

Physical activity can help you have better sleep and be more alert. Most people aren’t getting the recommended amount of sleep to begin with, so regular physical activity can help.

Exercise helps to lower symptoms of anxiety, improve sleep quality, and boost energy levels. (Source:

“Exercise helps to lower symptoms of anxiety, improve sleep quality, and boost energy levels,” (Source:

“Resistance training, such as weight lifting and body weight exercises… can have the same effect as of reducing depression… researchers found that people who did this type of exercise reported a significant reduction in such symptoms as low mood, loss of interest in activities, and feelings of worthlessness, compared with those who did not exercise,” Lifting weights might lift your mood, Harvard Health Publishing.

“Research shows that exercise is also an effective treatment [for depression]. For some people it works as well as antidepressants,” Exercise is an all-natural treatment to fight depression, Harvard Health Publishing.

“Any activity appears to be better than none; our rough calculations suggest that replacing sitting with 15 minutes of a heart-pumping activity like running, or with an hour of moderately vigorous activity, is enough to produce the average increase in accelerometer data that was linked to a lower depression risk,” More Evidence That Physical Activity Keeps Depression at Bay, Psychology Today.

Jeff Simms Licensed Professional Counselor

I believe that you deserve more than ok. Ready to make an appointment? Contact me today.

Remember, no great misery goes unnoticed, if you are struggling with your mental health, be sure to reach out to a qualified mental health professional. If you are considering suicide please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK, call 9-1-1, or visit the closest emergency room.

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Jeff Simms is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Board Certified Counselor in private practice in Grand Blanc, Michigan. Jeff works with adults that want to get better dealing with their anxiety, depression, PTSD, and marriage.

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