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Home » Anxiety and Depression

Can Exercise Treat Elderly Depression?

[15 May 2011 | 3 Comments | | Author: ]
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You may be relieved but also surprised when your mental health care provider does not whip out the prescription pad after diagnosing your elderly depression and instead hands you a pamphlet on exercise. Perhaps you are wondering if you misunderstood – or maybe the professional has misunderstood you – but can exercise treat elderly depression?

As a matter of fact, it has been shown that in cases of mild to moderate depression, exercise could be the driving factor that will restore mental health to the patient. Oftentimes coupled with talking therapy, it makes the need for psychotropic drugs go away in some instances – an option that makes exercise an attractive option to many a patient.

However, if you find yourself in the clutches of depression and perhaps have a hard time even getting out of bed in the morning, you might wonder just how some specifically designed exercises for the senior citizen will be able to get the mind back in shape.

When taking a closer inventory of the various contributing factors associated with the mental illness known as elderly depression, it becomes glaringly obvious that stress and sleeplessness are near the top of the list. However, one two of the very benefits that exercise brings with it is the ability to reduce emotional stress via the physical workout and also the natural tiring of muscles and the body overall which is the normal result of a vigorous workout. By reducing the tension levels and increasing the body’s likelihood of experiencing sleep, two main culprits causing depression have been taken out of the equation, thus making it possible for the patient to see some improvement in the condition.

As you continue on with the daily exercises, the odds are good that you will be building your stamina. Increased stamina in addition to better sleeping habits will equal energy. The latter, of course, is one of the things which is most commonly considered missing in the lives of those suffering from depression, and thus it would appear that using exercise to treat elderly depression is a working reversal of the old adage that claims mind over matter.

In this case, it is the body that will heal the mind and seniors will be wise to follow the daily exercise regimen which is given to them. Of course, before engaging in any form of physical activity you want to ensure that you are bodily healthy enough to engage in it, yet if you have had a recent physical examination (as is usually done at the onset of diagnosing elderly depression anyways) and if the exercises are prescribed by a physician who is familiar with your medical conditions and also medical history, the odds are good that you are good to go for your workout!

Nonetheless, be vigilant when working out and follow all of the common sense suggestions, such as warming up first, cooling down after the workout, drinking plenty of water, and stopping when you feel any pain. Should you experience pain, it is vital that you bring this to your doctor’s attention immediately!


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