Exercise is a beneficial activity for those who have been diagnosed with depression. If you and the one you care for have not started an exercise program then now is the time to start. It doesn’t matter whether you have just started taking medication or have been on medication for some time, exercise can be effective in increasing energy levels and promoting restful sleep.
Before starting any exercise be sure to seek advice from your doctor if you have any other medical conditions. Once the all clear is received you can begin planning your exercise program. Whatever form of exercise is chosen it should be enjoyable. Walking, for example, is a suitable activity if starting an exercise program. Set achievable goals no matter how small. When first starting it may help to set aside a regular time every day, such as before breakfast or after dinner at night. A five minute walk twice a day may be all that can achieved at the beginning. This doesn’t matter; the important thing is to just start.
Exercising with others, such as a walk around a park with friends or family has the added bonus of social interaction. Try to think of ways to make the walk more enjoyable, choose different routes, such a route that goes by shops so you can window shop as you walk.
The most difficult thing may be just to get started, but gentle persistence will be rewarded. If a lapse in the exercise routine occurs don’t get discouraged, start again with small goals. Persistence will be rewarded by an increase in the feeling of well-being.
For more tips for carers visit the information for carers page