Medical studies have shown that exercise may stave off depression and clearly this will then make you sit and wonder how doing some running or working out can actually have this profound effect on somebody. The answer lies in your brain and what exercise does to you and a brief and simple explanation on what is going on will now follow.
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One of the first things it does is it increases our motivation and this has been shown to be important in people that are indeed depressed as they will often feel that they are no longer in control of their life. With exercise, there is less pressure on them to do anything, but at the same time managing to go out for a walk can be seen as an achievement and this can then give the person a boost and let them see that they are still capable of doing something in their life.
However, the main thing that exercise does is it encourages your brain to start releasing certain chemicals that makes a person start to feel good. These chemicals are known as endorphins and if your brain is not releasing enough of them, then this can often be the start of you feeling depressed, so it makes perfect sense that if you do something to encourage more of it to be produced, then it will become harder to end up being depressed.
Next, exercise will also lead to your body producing certain chemicals that will affect your immune system and increase the chances of you becoming depressed due to the way in which the body then has to deal with them being released and the pressure it puts on your system. It will also raise your body temperature through working out and it is widely believed that this does actually have a calming effect on us and the calmer we are, then the less likely we are to be stressed or depressed.
Finally, exercise is of course going to be a distraction as we think about what we are doing and how well we are doing and it gets us to take our mind off the things that are bothering us or getting us down. You will also be able to set yourself small goals with your exercise regime and can set up rewards for yourself when you reach them and this idea of setting targets and then discovering that you can actually do something will really build your confidence since this is often lacking when somebody is feeling depressed.
In short, exercise may stave off depression thanks to it doing several important things to us both physically as well as mentally and if you are feeling low, then do yourself a favor and start doing some exercise. You do not have to join a gym and start working out every single day because doing something as simple as going for a walk in your neighborhood can make a huge difference to most people. Get fit, get healthy, and keep doing it and you will find that your chances of developing depression will drop before your eyes.