I’ve heard consistent exercise can be an effective antidepressant for many people, as effective as medication and maybe more, without the potential unpleasant side effects (though it may make your butt look shapelier). I’m certainly no scientist or doctor and haven’t conducted any studies, though others have. (Note that this is not a tirade on medication; each person is unique and you’ve got to do what’s right for you.)
What I do know now following major depression for 5+ years is that when I don’t take the time to do a little exercise each morning, 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. Yeah, I don’t miss many days. Those 20-30 minutes each morning are gold to my system.
If you’re in the camp of trying to get consistent with exercise or movement, start small. Laugh if you want — 2-5 minutes a day of exercise actually done is light years ahead of wanting to do 60 minutes and ending with zippo. 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, a few to check out:
*Erin Stutland’s Shrink Session is a personal favorite. She’ll be starting a week-long challenge on June 13th with free 5 minute videos (how I actually found out about her last year). Check her out here.
*A friend of mine loves Betty Rocker. I haven’t tried any of her workouts yet but I just may. She looks like a badass.
*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!). Maybe something to check out if you’re looking for something new to try.
Any workouts you particularly like? Shoot me a comment below; I like learning about new options.