Rx for depression-alleviating exercise routine?
January 11, 2014 12:57 PM Subscribe
How to best use 45 minutes in a gym with the sole purpose of using exercise to alleviate depression symptoms?
posted by thenewbrunette to Health & Fitness (41 answers total) 52 users marked this as a favorite
I've been asked by my doctor to embark on a two-month period of "vigorous exercise, three to four times a week, for 45 minutes at a time," with a view toward improving my depression. My understanding is that the literature suggests a need for exercise that increases heart rate in order to see results (and that these results take time). What seemed to be insurmountable obstacles in the past now (thankfully) just appear to be caveats. These include:
Time: I can commit to three blocks of 1h20m per week to get from work, to gym, to home in time for dinner/kids/partner. Both partner and I work full-time and have two kids under 4; there never seems to be any time.
Weather: Living in Minnesota so outdoor exercise is a no-go for many more weeks.
Facilities: membership to a relatively no frills gym, but access to free weights and cardiovascular equipment, as well as a pool. Don't know much about basic gym equipment, however.
Physical limitations: knees aren't so hot and I have appallingly poor lung capacity (e.g., burning oh god I'm dying pain after very light jog for two minutes). Otherwise, I'm not overweight and am in good physical health for an early 30s woman, veg diet.
Mental: I get discouraged very, very easily and have never considered myself athletic or coordinated. So, starting a spin class right off the bat might be a sure fire way to demotivate me fully.
What I have enjoyed in the past: weight training, walking, swimming (but again, lung capacity can pose problems here), yoga.
If weight loss occurs, great, but this is not a motivator at all. Added strength and help with creaky joints would be kickass.