Exercise is more than just fitness...it helps battle anxiety and depression!

Is exercise important to your mental health?

One of the questions I ask my clients is if they do any exercise on a regular basis.  Sometimes, clients are engaged in a disciplined  exercise  practice, but most of the time, exercise is not in their repertoire of activities.

Clients tell me a variety of reasons they don’t exercise:  I have no time to workout, I don’t like to sweat, it hurts my muscles after I workout,  everyone will look at me at the gym, it’s too hard, I don’t like to exercise. 

I strongly encourage my clients to begin an exercise regimen. A recent article in the New York Times described exercise as potent medicine.  Here is the link to the article: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/12/11/exercise-as-potent-medicine/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0 

From personal experience, I can assure you that it is impossible to be anxious when you are lifting weights, it is also impossible to be depressed when you are on the elliptical.  The endorphin release from exercise is addictive-a healthy addiction! 

 We live in our heads in our culture.  We are disconnected from our bodies and exercise is a way of linking your mind to your body.  We need to maintain and take care of our bodies so we can live a more healthy and satisfying life.

Sometimes, if a client does exercise and is battling some mild depression, I’ll tell him to double up on the exercise.  If a client doesn’t exercise, I will assign taking a five minute walk daily, building up the time and distance as conditioning allows.  Movement helps alleviate  a myriad of problems, and it can enrich your life.