Woman stretching before exercise to help with seasonal depression and improve health

Seasonal Depression: How Exercise Can Help

If you’re feeling blue, it could be something in the air. Seasonal depression, otherwise known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD), affects all ages in the colder months. With longer nights and cloudier days, the winter months can affect your mood in more ways than encouraging you to curl up by the fire. Even though Las Vegas isn’t the coldest place in the world, the dramatic shift in temperatures still affects residents. It’s natural to want to spend more time indoors when the weather turns cold, but the lack of activity can lead to an unfortunate malaise. A healthy lifestyle is the key to avoiding seasonal depression. Nutritious foods, an active social calendar, and above all else physical activity will help combat the symptoms. Here’s how exercise can help seasonal depression at all stages.

What are the symptoms of seasonal depression?

Seasonal affective disorder is about more than simply feeling sad. Seasonal depression can affect people differently, but certain symptoms remain consistent across the board. For most, feelings of sadness are the starting point. From there, SAD can branch out to general fatigue, irritability, difficulty concentrating, and weight gain (among others!). The holiday season should be a time for celebration, so if you find yourself struggling to get up in the morning, it may be time to seek treatment. As with any form of depression, treatment ranges from counseling to social therapy to exercise.

Exercise helps alleviate all seasonal depression symptoms

The human body needs to balance good hormones with bad ones constantly. Seasonal depression happens when the cold weather compounds with isolation, leading your body to suffer from a lack of positive hormones. Where exercise comes into play is the release of endorphins. Even moderate exercise, such as walking for 20 minutes a day, releases endorphins (happy hormones which reduce pain) into your bloodstream. These reduce anxiety, which is the first step in combating seasonal depression. Studies have shown aerobic exercise to be the best treatment for SAD, but it’s not the only one. Any form of exercise will help victims of seasonal depression, so do whatever you find the most enjoyable! Exercising with a friend is a great way to not only get a good workout in but also to fill your social meter at the same time. The important thing is to get moving!

Combating SAD: what else to do

After you incorporate exercise into your daily routine, you’ll notice the symptoms of SAD evaporating. Exercising not only fights off seasonal depression, but it’s also good for your waistline! Anybody who wants to exit the holidays looking better than they did when they went into the season can find benefits from the same habits which stave off SAD. To compound your physical fitness, talk with a weight loss professional about what other things you can do. From regular fat burner shots that pack a punch of vitamins to a prescription plan that keeps your brain and body healthy, there are a litany of options! For

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