According to research, regular exercise is one of the best ways to help combat depression. However, that’s sometimes easier said than done. Depression can make it very difficult to get to the gym regularly. You may be wondering what the best approach is for getting in shape while depressed. Let’s take a look at some tips that may be helpful.
The best way to get in shape is to start small. Often times, our first reaction is to jump into fitness full force or make drastic changes to the way we’re eating. This approach usually ends up fizzling out quickly. Instead, focus on simple lifestyle adjustments you can implement immediately and maintain in the long term.
Instead of running a marathon, try to get 10,000 steps in each day this week. Instead of going on a no carb, intermittent fasting diet, stop eating right before bed. Small changes like these can do wonders in making you feel healthier and less depressed.
Starting small means that you should be working towards realistic goals. When you set unrealistic goals, you’re more likely to fail. Failing to meet your goal will only end up in disappointment, which could make your depressive symptoms worse. And let’s be real: Right now, you need a win. Give yourself that win by setting a goal that you can realistically obtain. As you continue to achieve your goals, you can become slightly more ambitious when setting new ones.
Pick A Work Out You Really, Really Like
Working out while you’re depressed is hard. So, When it comes to exercising, you want to pick a workout that you really really like doing. If you set out to do something that you hate doing, you’ll never do it! People make the mistake of running to try to get in shape when they absolutely can’t stand running. What ends up happening is that instead of just running, they make excuses not to run.
By picking an activity that you really enjoy, you’ll be excited to do it! So, think of something you love to do, that also could help you in your goal of getting in shape. Some ideas could be: hiking, swimming, kayaking, yoga, long walks on the beach, etc.
The most important thing is finding something you’ll be hard-pressed to skip.
A pat on the back when it’s deserved will help motivate you to keep going. If you’re working hard to fight your depression and get in shape then you should treat yourself to something special. This doesn’t mean scarf down a dozen doughnuts, but pick something that ‘s healthy and appropriate.
Build a Support System
You don’t have to do this alone! You’re friends and family are rooting for you, even if they don’t always communicate it. Including them in your process of getting in shape can also help build those relationships. For example, if you're going to be going for a run on Monday’s and Friday’s, ask your mom to join you. Need a yoga buddy? Ask one of your friends.
Or maybe just ask your friends to check in on how you’re doing every once in a while. Having someone to keep you accountable will help motivate you to continue making progress.