Recent controlled studies suggest that physical exercise can help to reduce symptoms of depressive and panic disorders.
Health benefits are generally obtained through 30 minutes of moderate physical activity on a daily basis. This level of activity can be reached through enjoyable daily activities like walking to work, climbing stairs, gardening, dancing and several other recreational sports. Doing these regular moderate-intensity physical activities is more likely to be successful than trying to sustain vigorous physical activity programmes. Your exercise routine should be individually tailored to suit your needs, preferences and resources. It's a good idea to keep a daily activity diary to monitor your progress.
If you engage in regular daily physical activity, you might notice that symptoms of depression or anxiety decrease. As well as boosting your mental health, physical activity can also have many physical health benefits and you may find that you end up feeling more energised. Engaging in moderate physical activity on a regular basis has the added advantages of improving sleep, presenting opportunities to socialise, and giving structure to your day, all of which can help you feel better, as you will see in the next sections.
- Do an activity that you enjoy, whether it is dancing, gardening or taking a walk with a friend.
- It is better to do moderate exercise regularly than very intensive exercise irregularly: try to make physical activity a part of normal everyday life.
- Remember, you don't need a gym membership or expensive equipment to be active.