Can Walking Fight Depression?

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When you're out of work, looking for a job or just struggling to hang on to the job you have, it's easy to get depressed. During these times of struggle, it's important to stay in touch with your emotional health, because lapsing into full blown depression can set you back in your job search, make you less motivated and decrease your chances of finding a new job.

Depression is an enemy of anyone who is trying to get through hard times and it can sneak up on you. No one wakes up one morning and realizes that they are depressed. Instead, they begin to lose motivation, have trouble sleeping or sleep too much. Suddenly, the things they used to enjoy doing don't seem like fun and before long, they start to isolate themselves from friends and family. More often than not, they begin to feel anger about their situation and lash out at people who are trying to help them. It's not until they are deep into the depression that they realize they have a problem.

I have dealt with two serious bouts of depression in my life, so I know how hard it is. Once a depressed person reaches out for help, they often become discouraged by the lack of options available to them. Although there have been major breakthroughs in the field of depression medications, the new drugs often have undesirable side effects and require the patient to come in for regular check up until the correct dosage is determined. For a depressed person, this can seem overwhelming.

However, a new study shows that doing something as simple as taking a brisk walk everyday can fight depression and even prevent it from gaining a foothold. In the journal of Mental Health and Physical Activity, the published study reported that walking has a "large effect" on depression.

The beauty of walking is that it doesn't cost a dime and almost anyone can do it. You don't have to have any prior skill or special equipment. Although more research needs to be done to determine how much walking and under what conditions is the most helpful, one thing is clear - if you are feeling down and discouraged, a brisk walk can work wonders.

Do you take regular walks? Why or why not?


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