Are you struggling with stress, anxiety, or depression? As a man, the pressure to appear strong and stoic can lead to some confusing internalized feelings, but mental health issues are common and nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, recent studies have shown that regular physical exercise can be more effective than counseling or medication in managing depression. Yes, the “gym bros” of the manosphere were right: you can use exercise to battle depression
Science Says Use Exercise to Battle Depression
A recent study published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research found that physical activity is more effective in reducing depression symptoms than either medications or counseling. The study followed over a hundred participants who had been diagnosed with depression. Half of the participants engaged in physical exercise three times per week, while the other half received counseling or antidepressant medication.
After 12 weeks, the participants who engaged in physical exercise showed a significant reduction in their depression symptoms compared to the other two groups. In fact, 45% of the exercise group achieved remission of their depression, while only 25% of the other groups achieved remission. This suggests that regular physical exercise could be the missing piece of the puzzle for men who are struggling with their mental health.
How Does Exercise Battle Depression?
How does exercise help with depression? When you exercise, your body releases endorphins, the body’s natural mood-boosters. These endorphins help you feel happier, more energetic, and less stressed. Exercise can also improve your overall physical health, which can have a positive impact on your mental health as well. Despite what the mainstream media preaches about “acceptance” and “inclusion”, having a Dad Bod is nothing to be proud of. When you work up a sweat, it’s beneficial for you in many ways.
But how much exercise do you need to see these benefits? The American Heart Association recommends that adults aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise per week. This can include activities like walking, jogging, cycling, or weightlifting. The important thing is to find an activity that you enjoy and that you can stick with.
Of course, starting a new exercise routine can be challenging, especially if you are dealing with mental health issues. But there are many resources available to help you get started. Consider reaching out to a personal trainer or joining a fitness class. You could also start small by taking short walks or doing some light stretching at home. The key is to find an activity that you enjoy and that fits into your schedule.
Don’t Refuse Professional Help
It’s important to remember that exercise is not a cure-all for mental health issues. If you are struggling with depression, anxiety, or other mental health issues, try to first seek professional help. However, adding regular physical exercise to your routine can be a powerful tool in managing these issues and improving your overall well-being.
In conclusion, men, take care of your mental health by making physical exercise a priority in your life. If you’re feeling down, it might appear difficult or impossible to get to the gym. Depression can do that. Start with small steps, like a walk around your neighborhood, or ten push ups. Now that you know you can use exercise to battle depression, why would you pay another cent for unnecessary counseling or medication? With regular exercise, you can take control of your mental health and feel empowered to live your best life.
-Your Big Bro