When you’re feeling really low and you can’t even get off the couch, exercising is probably the last thing you want to do. It can feel really annoying when people suggest this as a quick fix, but it is one of the best things you can do. It’s not only good for your body, but it’s proven to be good for your mental health, too. Exercising produces endorphins in your body, which help make you feel better.
It’s ok to start small - walk up to the mailbox or to the end of the street and slowly you can build up. Go for a walk, run, swim, have a kanikani (dance), play football - it doesn't matter what, as long as it gets you active.
Another bonus is that after exercise your body produces adrenaline, which kicks in after you’ve finished and gives you an energy boost.
For mild depression, physical activity can be as good as antidepressants or psychological treatments.
So start with a little exercise each day and build it up gradually. Try breaking it up into 10-minute sessions if you want.
Experts say to aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise, five days a week. (Moderate exercise means you're working hard enough to raise your heart rate and break a sweat, but you can still talk).
Whatever it is, work out how you can fit it into your day and make sure it’s something you enjoy (if you don’t like it, you won’t stick to it.) Roping in a friend is another awesome way to keep you motivated.
Go on, give it a go and get active, you may be surprised at how good you feel!
Mauri mahi, mauri ora; mauri noho, mauri mate – ‘Activity brings well-being, idleness produces sickness’.