Disclaimer: talk to your doctor if you experience serious signs of depression. If you feel suicidal, call 911 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1800-273-TALK (8255).
Depression can make you stop feeling like doing anything, especially working out. Even if you know getting some reps in will make you feel a little better, inertia can pin you firmly to your couch. The best workouts to beat depression will help lift you out of that exhaustion without overly taxing you. We offer a few guidelines below. Many people think you need an intense sweat sesh or long marathon runs to get back those happy feels. You can pump out some serious endorphins this way, but can feel like too much for someone battling depression.
Go for a Stroll
Just a short stroll around the block – or anywhere outside – can lift your spirits when you’re feeling down. A five-minute walk doesn’t sound very strenuous and can usually make a difference in your mood. Find someone to walk with – even your favorite pupper – to add some social time to battle those low feelings.
Setting lower expectations for intensity can be enough to get you started. A funny thing happens, once you get started you can usually find enough energy to go a bit farther. “Well begun is half done,” as Mary Poppins would say (oh yes, we went there).
Running, Jogging, Wogging, Jalking (whatever you want to call it)
Anyone who runs regularly knows you don’t actually have to run for very long to get that runner’s high. Lacing up for just one mile or a 10-minute run can get you moving. And just like walking, once you get started, you’ll usually find you want to keep going.
When you run, even if distracted by music in your earbuds, you pay much more attention to your body. That can break the cycle focusing on your sad feelings that makes you feel more sad.
A good way to get moving and social is to make plans with friends to join a group exercise class. If you make a commitment to others to show up, you increase the chances of actually doing so.
Sweating with others builds a sense of belonging. You suffer together, groan together when the trainer calls for one more set and give each other we’re-in-this-together glances. Instructors love when group classes gang up on them to hate their “torture.” That means we’re doing our jobs. If glaring at us helps solves your case of the blues, then we’re happy. Meet a friend to take one of our group classes or come and make a few new friends!
The team at Virtus Barbell are here for more than just your physical health. If you want to talk, we’re always here for you. We may not be professional psychologists, but next to bartenders, trainers make the best listeners. Stop down during normal staffed hours for a hug and free vent session. But come in your workout clothes. After a chat, you may feel like working out after all.