“You are only one workout away from a good mood.”
From social media posts to T-shirts to water bottles, the phrase seems to be everywhere. And there’s some truth to it. Exercise causes the body to release endorphins (those feel good hormones). Also, it can help distract you from negative feelings.
Studies show that regular exercise can help manage or ward off depression. However, it can be difficult to motivate yourself to exercise when you are struggling with negative thoughts and anxiety. In fact, it might be the last thing you want to do — even when you know it will help.
Moving around, even just a little bit, can be a great way to incorporate activity into your routine. One key is to make exercise as easy and as convenient possible.
A Master Spas swim spa can take the stress out of working out. The water is a low-impact option while the swim spa is just steps away from your back door.
Exercise and depression
Working out, whether it’s swimming or skiing, is often seen as a way to improve your physical health. Moving your body, though, is just as important to your mental health.
More than 264 million people across the world suffer from depression, according to the World Health Organization. Symptoms of depression include loss of energy, lack of interest, low self esteem, and physical aches and pains. The markers or symptoms can make it challenging to motivate yourself to work out.
Data show that people who exercise show a “reduced prevalence of incident depression.” Researchers, including those from Harvard University, examined records from more than 8,000 people participating in the ongoing Partners Biobank study.
Maybe more importantly, though, was that the researchers found out how much exercise people need to reduce symptoms of depression. Three hours of activity a week can help people who are at risk for depression. And the article states that “approximately 45 additional minutes of physical activity each day could translate to meaningful reductions in a person’s risk for depression.”
How exercise helps with depression
Depression can turn off a brain’s neurotransmitters, which locks you into a feeling. Exercise boosts the production of a protein so the neurotransmitters work better.
Other ways exercise helps mental health:
- Increased steroid reserves become accessible to counteract stress
- It reduces tension.
- Working out increases body temperature, which can have a sedative effect.
- Exercise releases endorphins, which are responsible for the body’s feeling of pleasure.
Best exercise for depression
If exercising for three hours seems intimidating, don’t worry. It doesn’t matter what you do; it just matters that you do something. The best exercise for depression is the one that you will enjoy and make you feel better. You can run, walk, dance, take yoga, or swim.
Swimming and other water exercise, though, can be particularly beneficial when managing depression and anxiety symptoms. It also requires you to focus on your breath and form. By concentrating on different aspects of your stroke, whether it’s a streamline position or your catch, you are practicing a form of mindfulness. Your thoughts are then occupied on your kick pattern and not the negative thoughts associated with depression.
“Swimming, because of its repetitive nature, is incredibly meditative,” says Moby Coquillard, a psychotherapist and swimmer from San Mateo, Calif. [source]
In addition, you are using a variety of muscles without stressing your joints. Water’s natural buoyancy reduces the effects of gravity, providing a weightless feeling. The resistance of water helps build strength as you move through your swim stroke. Swimming is a great way to exercise, too, because it helps you maintain good flexibility.
Swim-in-place pool exercise ideas
Some days, it can feel challenging just to get going — whether it’s getting to work or making an appointment. It can be especially difficult when times are stressful.
Driving to the gym can feel like it adds to the stress. A Master Spas swim spa or swim-in-place pool removes the burden of commuting to a fitness facility. The struggle of trying to fit in a swim is eased with a swim spa, because it’s always available. You can use it when it’s most convenient for your schedule or when you are feeling your best.
You will be able to build a habit of going out to the backyard and swimming, even if it’s just 20 minutes. And the best part is that you are likely to feel better when you get out of your swim spa.
But if you don’t like swimming, there are endless exercise options with a swim spa. Here are some workouts that are ideal for a swim-in-place pool:
Start Your Day with this Water Workout
Resistance Ball Workout for Strength Building
Water Running Workouts for Anyone
At-home exercise pools
Do you want to enjoy the benefits of water exercise at home? A Master Spas swim spa allows you to exercise, recover, and unwind when it’s convenient for your schedule. You can click here to discover our secrets to creating a backyard oasis. Or, contact your local Master Spas retailer to learn more about swim spa ownership. Wondering how much a swim spa costs? You can request a quote here.