SadnessIn an article published by Harvard Health called Exercise and Depression researchers reported that fast walking for about 35 minutes a day or 60 minutes three times a week is effective for managing symptoms of depression. That’s good news. If exercise can combat mild to moderate depression, think what it can do to beat back the blues. Unlike the blues, depression can interfere with daily activities and in some cases requires medical intervention. Most people feel a bit down but carry on with the blues. Don’t let the blues keep you down. Get up and get moving. Let exercise help you through blue moods.

Holiday blues

Despite the promise of parties and all the other times for cheer that come along with the holidays, the blues are not uncommon. Causes include less sunlight, less sleep and less time. Add to that more alcohol, unhealthier eating and more pressure to make the holidays perfect and you’ve got a recipe for the blues. This year go for good enough and get yourself to the gym.

How exercise helps

According to the Mayo Clinic exercise helps because it releases endorphins, which feel good as they move through your body. Think of these feel good chemicals like a spring breeze lifting the heavy blanket of the blues. Exercise also boosts body temperature, inducing feelings of calm. Chances are you can use a little calm amidst holiday chaos. With so much to do it is easy to become overwhelmed. Instead take a deep breath. Look for 30 minutes in your schedule. If you can’t find them altogether opt for a couple of 10 or 15 minute exercise breaks. Go for a run or walk, turn on the radio and jump on the trampoline or try some yoga. Any kind of movement that boosts your heart rate and helps your body abandon shallow breaths for deeper, centering breaths will help.

HappinessExercise on all or most days of the week for best outcomes. Get others in on your fitness plan, if you can. If you can’t, decide to go ahead without them and without guilt. The time you spend running, dancing, swimming or weight lifting will provide a distraction that takes you away from your troubles. Sure you know the blues pass, but isn’t it great to know you can do something to help them move along? You will enjoy less anxiety, more self-confidence and optimism, too. That’s a holiday gift you can give yourself all year round.