Better Than Popping a Pill?

Better Than Popping a Pill?

Today’s food for thought is on exercise (one component in setting a strong foundation).

Consider: Consistent exercise can be an effective antidepressant for many, as effective as medication and maybe more, with fewer potential side effects. Some thoughts from research.*

Note that I’m certainly no scientist or doctor (nor do I attempt to play one of TV or the internet), though from personal experience, I have found consistent exercise to be a huge help in keeping me out of the pit of depression. When I don’t take the time to do a bit each morning (yoga is my personal go-to), I feel funny. Life somehow seems harder, smaller things annoy me, and I start to feel out of control. If I skip it multiple days in a row, the effects compound and I’m quickly a mess, spiraling downwards. I don’t miss many days now. Those 20 minutes each morning are gold to my system.

If you’re trying to get consistent with exercise or movement, start small. If you need to laugh, please do — that said, 2-5 minutes a day of exercise actually done is light years ahead of wanting to do 60 minutes and ending with none. Start with a few minutes for a week or two (and if you get in more, bonus) and then add another couple of minutes. It will add up.

If you’re looking for some movement inspiration, some ideas:

*I came across this Huffington Post article about free online workouts. A quick glance through — some interesting stuff of varying lengths and fitness levels (some videos as short as 1 minute!).

*Shoes and the outside: Nothing fancy required — head out for a walk.

*Erin Stutland’s Shrink Session offers some shorter workouts (5 minutes) as well as longer ones. Check her out here.

*Some folks I know love Betty Rocker. For those looking to get their sweat on, this could be an interesting option.

A little exercise can go a long way in setting you up for success. And modeling is huge for your teens. If you’re giving it a go, they may be more likely to try too. 🙂

* Note: This is not a commentary on medication — different things are needed for different people at different times, and sometimes medication can be helpful and needed.

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2 thoughts on “Better Than Popping a Pill?

  1. Jeanne Loehnis

    Robin … exercise has been part of my “anti-depressant cocktail” for at least two decades now. I stretch 99.9% of the mornings … and if I go without something more in a day, I feel the impact. Now, some might thing that is constrictive … but … moving my body feels SO good!!! I don’t want NOT to 🙂 And … exercise is only part. Medication, good eating habits, sufficient sleep, taking time to listen to and honor my emotional body … all of these are also my “anti-depressant”. Thanks for this message – it is good and needed.

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