Depression and Fitness During Seasonal Change

May is Mental Health Awareness month, and at Invivo we know that your mental health and physical health directly correlate with each other. Diagnosed depression disorders can be debilitating, especially when paired with gloomy and very cold weather we have during our Wisconsin winters. Depressive thoughts, however, can happen throughout the year, not just during the winter. Getting out of the house to workout can be difficult, and when you are suffering from depression, exercise may be the last thing on your mind.

It is no surprise that research supports exercise as a great treatment add-on for those who are suffering from mild to major depression disorder (Danielsson, et al 2014). Countless studies support the health benefits of exercise and the science behind why it helps us feel better.

A recent published article explains the point of view of a participant in an exercise program established by a physical therapist. Danielsson, et al explains that little research has explored the patient’s personal experience with exercises and how it makes the client feel. Their research focused on a group of individuals diagnosed with major depressive disorder and their participation in an organized exercise program established by their physical therapist. What they were trying to discover was not the biological effects of physical activity on depression, but the patient’s perception and response. This article demonstrated that patients with depression who participate in an organized exercise program with their physical therapist experienced an improved perception of their physical abilities, capabilities, as well as, “creating a sense of liveliness, and improving their depressed state” (2016). Also discovered was the importance of the therapeutic relationship between the patient and therapist in order to support the patient through this vulnerable time with empathy.
Exercise can improve the way we look at ourselves and at our own abilities. We can get stuck in a rut, especially when influenced by seasonal change, but exercise can help us change our perspectives and give us more positive feelings about ourselves. If you are struggling to make that step, we are here for you!
Join us for a free screening with one of our Physical therapists to get started on a safe and effective program that is right for you.

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Depression and Physical Therapy Exercise