Personal training for depression? Personal Trainers share the benefits of exercise for depression.

Posted in psychology

One in five people experience depression at some point in their lives. Major Depression (clinical) is the number one psychological disorder in the western world. We all feel down, ‘low’ and unhappy from time to time. However, with clinical depression the symptoms are more severe and persistent (a few examples include: feelings of hopelessness, appetite and/or weight loss, feeling exhausted). Depression affects children, men and women of all shapes, sizes, socio-economic backgrounds and cultures.

Depression is usually treated with talking treatments such as cognitive behaviour therapy and/or medication. These therapies should be further complimented with the uptake of physical activity that may include exercising with a qualified personal trainer.

We are more aware of the benefits of exercise for physical health. However, the benefits of exercise for mental health are equally crucial:

*Increased self-confidence

*Increased self-esteem

*Reduce feelings of shame, helplessness and hopelessness

*Improved mood

*Increased concentration

*Improved sleep

The type of exercise best known to help with depression is walking and running as they are rhythmical and aerobic. However, other types of exercises such as functional training, weight lifting, pilates, boxing, resistance band training and stretching also require a focus and concentration that helps to ease the mind.

A personal trainer can introduce this type of fitness training. Furthermore, personal trainers are able to adapt to the mood of the individual and understand that someone who is feeling low will not necessarily feel like doing an intensive exercise session. Therefore, a walk/jog or run outdoors in a green park in the fresh air, coupled with a few easy pushups and fun tree pull-ups would be more beneficial.

More needs to happen to suggest exercise for depression. For example, building close relationships between personal trainers and other recognized professionals including: GPs, dieticians, psychotherapists, psychiatrists, counselors, mental health charities (Mind, Rethink, Depression Alliance, British Obesity Society etc.) and perhaps even pharmaceutical companies.

Another way may be to offer courses in alliance with all or some of the above-mentioned professionals that combine their expertise, to help those suffering from mental health challenges. A course of this kind designed by personal trainer, Agi and a clinical psychologist in collaboration with the Depression Alliance (UK charity) was one small step in the right direction to educate, inspire and motivate a few individuals with depression to take up exercise with the help of two professionals.

Contact us for advice on how to start a personal training program to boost your self-confidence and energy levels!