Apparently, science has discovered another reason to keep your body “day party ready” all year long. A new study from the Journal of Affective Disorders confirmed that exercise literally beats back depression, releasing endorphins that improve mental health, and found the reverse happens when you stop.
Researchers reviewed the results of earlier studies that examined the effects of stopping exercise in regularly active adults. The findings revealed that symptoms of depression return as early as three days to two weeks after exercise stops. In some cases, the depressive symptoms were significantly increased after frequent exercise ended. Professor Bernhard Baune, Head of Psychiatry at the University of Adelaide and the senior author of the paper, acknowledges the number of people included in the study is small and “such findings need to replicated in additional trials.” However, Professor Baune does urge people to understand the potential impact suddenly terminating regular exercise can have.
Struggling to keep up with your exercise regimen? Here are a few tips to ensure you make it happen.
1 Why Are You Stopping? There’s a reason you don’t want to work out. Bad weather. Loss of motivation. Winter blues. Drama at work. Overly cuffed. Brainstorm until you figure out the true root of your apathy, then start thinking of ways to combat it.
2Switch It Up. Membership to a traditional gym isn’t for everyone. Another option is to find activities that pique your interest and rotate through classes. Trampoline cardio, sword fighting, and bungee workouts are new unique workout trends that are taking off.
3Buddy Pass. There are very few things you can do alone and actually succeed. Grab a friend or relative who actually works out and ask him/her to work out with you, or hold you accountable by periodically checking in. If no one in your crew fits the bill make a new friend at the gym.
4Make It Routine. Scheduling a workout can be a big challenge, especially when you have a demanding schedule. First, you have to decide that the gym time is non-negotiable. Second, figure out what works for your lifestyle, and this may change during different parts of the year. If a weekly schedule works, set that up. If it’s monthly, get on that. Are you better in the am or pm? Do whatever it takes to ensure you bust a sweat.
5Get a Pro. There are few things that will make you go to the gym like spending money on a trainer. You don’t have to blow your wad. Instead, buy enough sessions to jumpstart your motivation and help you get back to the flow of hitting the gym weekly.
Arielle Neblett is a freelancer for CASSIUS.