I have written a lot in the past about reasons to exercise and> ways to stay motivated, but for me one very important reason which is often overlooked, is to feel good. Regular exercise is a great way to boost your mood, and> can be an instant pick me up. Whilst the links between exercise and> depression aren’t entirely clear there are some studies that do suggest it helps. And doing something that can benefit your physical health as well can’t be a bad thing.

Feel Good CycleThe feel good hormone

Remember that quote from Legally Blonde, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husband>s, they just don’t.”  Well endorphins are one of the reasons exercise can help you feel good. The aptly nicknamed “Happy” hormone released when you exercise is a natural way to reach a healthier state of mind.  And can be great if you are feeling a little down or even if you struggle with mild depression.

Feel Good WalkingGet started and> feel good

When suffering with depression exercise may be the last thing on your mind.  And I understand> that in some occasions exercise may not be possible at all. But if you can including some regular exercise in your life may help to ease some of your symptoms. In order to get started and> maintain a regular exercise programme the most important factor is finding something you enjoy. Whether that is lifting weights, running, cycling, swimming or any other form of activity.  If you enjoy it you will stick to it.

Also make sure you start slowly and> build up, don’t set yourself up to fail.  Set reasonable and> achievable goals. If it doesn’t fit in with your lifestyle you won’t maintain it, so even 20-30 minutes, 3 to 5 times a week will be beneficial. And finally celebrate your achievements, and> give yourself credit for every step in the right direction.  If you skip a session one day, don’t worry. Get back on track as soon as possible and> don’t use it as an excuse to quit.

Please bear in mind however that exercise may not always be good for mental health, so whilst we should celebrate the fact that it may be helpful we also need to be aware that it may not always be the answer. Ultimately it is about finding what works for you, and> not adding extra pressure on yourself.