How Running/Exercise can help fight Depression
As you read this blog and then look to the right of this page, you see my smiling face looking right at  you! . . . "What in the world does she know about depression and why this article?" Yeah, well bad things happen to the best of us and it is all in how you handle the storm.  I have suffered from depression after losing a premature child, all three grandparents and moving to a new city in a 2 year time frame.  I can tell you that depression sucks! 

After about 3 solid months (out of 10 months) of just hiding in my house, in my room and under the covers, I decided. . .ok, this is ridiculous! I had to do something different.  At the time, I had just enough energy to get out of the bed, take my kids to school and then get right back into the bed until it was time to pick them up!  It was pitiful, uncool and not me!  

Now, getting a new gym membership and running a lap around the block is not enough to stop your depression but it can be a start! You have the power to pull yourself out of it FOR yourself and not for ANYONE else!  If you make it to the front door of the gym the first day, that's good! If you run for 5 minutes the second day, you are making progress.  Just doing a little bit of something each day is progress!

I really think that is important to share because there are so many people out there who are hurting.  It could be the stress of a job or finding a job, the loss of a loved one or even a major change in your life that you NEVER expected.  Things happen to all of us and it can change everything from how you feel, look or view the world.  

Depression is the leading cause of disability in the United States for people between the ages of 15 and 44 years of age (National Institute of Mental Health).  Depression is more than just having a bad day, it's a crippling empty feeling that a person experiences over a long period of time.   It's hard to shake but you can beat it!

Where does running and physical fitness play a role? Well, achieving a physical goal like a 5K, an individual fitness circuit or group exercise class can help boost the self esteem immediately.  Once you start to focus on something other than what caused the depression, you will start to pull away from negative thoughts and feelings.   Experiencing a "runner's high" is the complete opposite of experiencing depression.  It's a temporary feeling of achievement but it's a strong enough feeling to make you want to do more. Exercise is motivational, challenging and a test of how strong you are mentally and physically.  It's one step away from no longer being depressed! 

If  you are suffering from depression or have any other questions for me, feel free to comment or shoot me an email at!  There are dozens of resources and professional waiting to help you!

. . .and this time. . .seriously . . .Happy Running!
Posted on May 15, 2012 .