Imagine going to the doctor with symptoms of depression and she hands you a new prescription: Do two sets of squats, 15 bicep curls, 4 laps around the track and call me in the morning. Though this is not (yet) an accurate picture, experts are starting to recognize that regular exercise is not only good for your mood but may help combat depression, too.
Until physicians start prescribing exercise as an alternative treatment for depression, it’s best to turn to a group of professionals who are already in the know: physical therapists. PTs are trained to recognize the signs and symptoms of mental health illnesses like depression and understand how the disorder can interfere with a person’s ability to enjoy life.
With regular exercise, you’re guaranteed to see improvements in the following areas:
Strength and flexibility
You don’t have to have depression to reap the benefits of exercise, either. In fact, the mood-boosting pastime can help anyone who might be temporarily sad or otherwise not themselves. Major life stressors—divorce, loss of a job, and death—are difficult for anyone and regular exercise is a great way to help you through a tough time.
It might be overwhelming to think about incorporating exercise into your life. Fatigue and loss of interest in activities can make it difficult for patients to take that first step, both literally and figuratively. But this is what physical therapists are trained to help you do.
Even minimal changes could change your outlook on the day and your ability to participate in activities you once enjoyed. So, what are you waiting for?