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Finding Exercise Motivation When You're Depressed

How to Get Moving When You're Low on Energy

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  • Thank you Dean Anderson and SparkPeople for posting this article! I am GRATEFUL to not be depressed right now, but fear of depression is still a monkey on my back. It's waiting to catch me if there's ever a day that I let my guard up.

    After three decades, I know a good cardio session will put some distance between me and this bogeyman. Yet it's still hard to get those cardio sessions started; sometimes I'm even still afraid of my workouts before I start.

    Thanks Dean for showing me that I'm not alone, and reminding me that ups-and-downs are normal. I agree with DDOORN - viva la Spark! :)

    - 12/1/2016 8:06:59 AM
  • MOVING2LOSE
    I would love to be exercising but I'm in to much pain from back problems leading to sciatica.
    That is why I'm depressed.The fact that this depresses me only leads to more pain probably.
    I don't know what the answer is to that.
    . I do keep moving doing everyday chores around the house.
    I'm afraid I'm feeling a bit sorry for myself today. Not good! - 11/30/2016 4:11:53 PM
  • I live in an apartment with such a panorama of beauty that actually going out for a walk seems unnecessary. An accident triggering all the dreadful agony of Stenosis , arthritis and everything that I never thought i would suffer. An active, beautiful woman who looked and felt twenty years younger , I've aged twenty years in one year. Depression from chronic pain and the hard work of keeping up appearances, doing small chores. This article helped immensely, because that's just about what I am managing to do. HydroCinesiotherapy (pool therapy) twice a week is helping to get me out and about, in spite of the pain. (No medication reduces the pain, tried almost everything, can't use Cortisone because of inner eye pressure) I'm doing planks and small exercises as suggested and it helps immensely. Internet helps too. Thanks Spark people! - 11/30/2016 12:13:42 PM
  • There are many many many good resources and places of help for dealing with depression. May I recommend one that has been helpful in my life: "Get It Done When You're Depressed" by Julie A Fast & John D Preston. This is a good book not only for people dealing with mood issues, but also for their friends/family who may need a little help understanding why "just get over it" doesn't work for us.

    For me - committing to just 10 minutes a day of SOMETHING exercise-y was the starting point. I cried through quite a few workouts, but I did them. Now I'm looking at Day 1,177 of my exercise streak and I've upped my minimum to 20 minutes.

    I hope and pray that all of you find the Key to feeling better. - 11/30/2016 8:12:59 AM
  • Great article and exercise is really important for people suffering depression. I've been there and exercise helped me a lot. My tip is don't blame yourself if you don't exercise one day, Every day is a good day to start. Say this out loud as often as it takes. You'll feel silly but it does work. - 11/30/2016 7:40:07 AM
  • FLSANDYE
    After my father passed away, a year ago, I got into a major funk and chose to turn myself into a workaholic, thinking that would fix everything. Well, it didn't, so I started going back to the gym. That served to be temporary fix because 10 months after his passing I placed my father in Arlington National Cemetery and, thus, put myself back to square one. Depression is wicked and when it finds you and slaps you in the face its difficult to get motivated to get "back on the horse" and do it again but I'm bound and determined to do it!!! No better day than today, even if its for 30 minutes, that's better than thinking about it I guess. So, wish me luck as I wish you all the very best. With the holidays upon us even the least bit of exercise can help curb a downer of a day. I know its difficult but have faith in yourself :-} - 11/30/2016 4:19:19 AM
  • ITZEL4897
    WELL, this has help me realize that i need to exercise more, now that i see that it has help all of this people....i am getting fat i gain .5 a pound this last month , you know cause of thanksgiving . i will certainly use this ONE day!1!1!1!1!1! THANK YOU - 11/30/2015 10:14:49 AM
  • When I'm depressed so much of my life seems to be out of control or beyond my control.

    What I love about making healthy food and activity choices is that I know that these are choices that are totally under my control, if I choose to take charge of my life.

    The toe-hold that this laser-like focus on healthy food and activity choices offers gives me a boost, a lift that spreads to other parts of my life.

    Viva la SPARK! :-)

    Don - 10/27/2015 9:03:42 AM
  • It's very easy to say "move a little each day". But if you're dealing with grief and depression, and I've walked that road, you are paralyzed and the very thought of moving is like climbing Mt. Everest. - 8/18/2015 10:27:21 AM
  • Thanks for the encouragement! You folks encouraged me to ride my bike for 10 minutes, including some arm exercises at the same time. It helps us to realize that we are not alone, but a part of an encouraging, understanding group. - 6/18/2015 12:11:40 AM
  • MGOODONE
    Good article, I too have dealt with depression over the years. I have found that just getting myself out there among other people (positive) takes the thoughts off of yourself, a lot of prayer which gives you hope for your future. Exercise is a natural mood lifter and the more I do it the better I feel! Most of all, I need to stop comparing myself to others! Blessings... - 4/18/2015 10:18:59 AM
  • PS of the previous post. I wish that I had proofread my comment before sending it, because the word comment should be commend. - 11/30/2014 3:27:54 PM
  • Thank you so much for this wise and full of motivation that I can feel, just by reading it. I appreciate it so much and comment you. - 11/30/2014 3:26:25 PM
  • CONCERTO32
    While reaching out for help with motivation, I was looking for the majic words, on a facebook page someone posted after my comment "Motivation comes from within". I felt like posting DUH, but I left it alone and went about my business. I have been fighting depression for my whole life, motivation does not come easily. About five years ago I got divorced, didn't realize until recently how much my ex put me down during the 23 years we were together. Before my divorce I lost about 100 lbs, and have kept all but 20 lbs off for about five years now. Will be 48 this year that 20 lbs feels like the original 100lbs, going to be ok I will find the motivation to exercise it does make depression easier to fight when you have energy. - 11/30/2014 8:40:53 AM
  • I had a small streak going....and then my mood plummet, once more. For the past three days I've "excused myself" from exercising. ("Please excuse, Cynthia, the dog ate her homework"). yeah. NOT a valid excuse. But I think I was looking at too big of a goal. I can walk up and down the stairs a couple times. Or maybe do some wall pushups. It's nice to know that little things like that count. Thanks for this article. - 11/30/2014 8:14:59 AM

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