This time of year, depression seems to settle in. Reviewing a health and wellness blog, this important reminder caught my attention, exercise helps!

Depression is a beast, and it affects millions of people all over the world. While, there are several different ways to treat and ease the symptoms of depression, one of the healthiest and most productive is exercise.

Regular exercise does wonders for both the mind and the body. Physical exercise triggers the release of 'feel-good' hormones in the brain that improve your emotional state and make you feel, well, good. Intense exercise releases dopamine in the brain, which results in a natural high that is often referred to as the 'runner’s high.

While high-intensity workouts do provide that immediate relief, low-intensity exercise is proven to be just as good. Engaging in low-intensity exercise on a regular basis stimulates the release of neurotrophins—proteins that are commonly referred to as 'growth factors' that contribute to cell growth and function. Yoga is my personal favorite!

Those who exercise often experience improved confidence and feelings of self-worth as they achieve health and fitness goals.

How to Begin
If you’re suffering beneath the weight of your depression, it’s likely that the very last thing you want to do is get up and partake in strenuous exercise. Even if you formulate the desire, we understand that finding the will is often easier said than done. Here are some tips to help you get started on your road to a brighter and healthier life.

1. Don't Over Do It
Nobody expects you to be at the gym breaking records and achieving glory at 5:00 a.m. tomorrow morning. As you begin your active lifestyle, it’s important to start at a pace that works for you. Set reasonable goals and partake in the exercises that you feel comfortable with. Even a brisk walk every morning is a great way to clear your mind and get your blood pumping.

2. It Can Be Fun
Nobody ever said that exercise has to be boring or miserable. Use this opportunity to explore new hobbies and physical activities that you enjoy, whether that includes laps in a pool or a walk with a friend.

3. Recovery is Important
A healthy recovery is key to an active lifestyle. You can prevent muscle soreness, tension, and injury by stretching before and after workouts, soaking in a hot tub after exercise, and getting the nutrients you need to sustain your new active routine.

Following these simple steps could be the beginning of improved mental and emotional benefits of adding a little exercise to your daily routine.

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