We all know someone who’s had a struggle with depression. Maybe you’ve even suffered from it yourself. There is no shame in having depression. But, if you could do something to bolster your fight against this emotional setback, wouldn’t you like to? 
Depression is much too common in today’s society, and we must do everything that we can to fight against it. This includes making sufficient time for exercise each week. Are you aware that even small amounts of exercise fight depression? 

What is a Small Amount of Exercise?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (also known as the CDC) recommend a “moderate” level of exercise to reap the ideal health benefits from moving your body. This equates to two and a half hours of aerobics per week and two workouts a week that target your major muscle groups. 

This small amount of exercise can result in physical benefits as well as improved quality of sleep, reduced stress levels, and lessened symptoms of anxiety and depression. These cognitive aspects will be the key to fighting your depression through exercise, and the physical benefits are an added bonus!

So, we know how much exercise to perform, and we know why we should do so. But how does it work? What is the relationship between exercise and depression?

The Relationship Between Exercise and Depression
Studies show that those who make time for exercise each week have a much lower risk of depression. These benefits are best experienced when making the transition from doing zero exercise to performing the recommended amount. However, exercising more than the recommended amount does not show any added protection against depression. 

Taking the leap from performing no exercise each week to getting a moderate amount of exercise will improve your body’s ability to function. It will also help your brain fight depression. After exercising consistently, you will begin to feel better (and look better, too!). You have one body and one brain; do your best to care for them.

Take Small Steps
If dedicating multiple hours of your time each week to exercise sounds daunting, do not be dismayed. Even small changes in your routine will make a big difference! For example, maybe you don’t have enough time to exercise the recommended amount, but you can find the time in your schedule to go for a brisk walk for 10 minutes every day. That’s a fantastic step in the right direction. 

Rather than allowing the number of hours in a day to limit you, think of the situation in this way: I will make time for the things that are important to me. Is your mental and physical wellbeing important to you? 

Every action that you take in order to better your health, mental and physical, is another stride forward. The most important aspect is that you believe that you can do it. Now, get out there and get started! You’ll be so glad that you have made this investment in your mental health.