Seasonal depression is more common than you might think. Estimates say that more than one in 15 people in the UK suffer from seasonal depression during the months of September to April. Dark days, cold and dreary weather, and shorter days can all make people become depressed. The cause of seasonal depression is a lack of certain hormones that promote feelings of well-being and contentment. Those hormones are made by the brain, but only when the brain gets enough sunlight. Without sunlight the brain doesn’t make enough of those hormones. That can cause people to feel sad, lethargic, or tired all the time. Some people start carving starchy, carbohydrate-heavy foods, too. Without exercise, eating more starchy food can cause weight gain, and no one wants that.
One of the most effective cures for seasonal depression, according to more than 30 clinical trials and studies, is exercise. That’s right. Just getting more exercise may enable you to fight off the symptoms of seasonal depression. If you know that you’re prone to getting the “winter blues” you should start exercising regularly as soon as the days starter getting shorter and darker. The more exercise you get before winter sets in, the more likely it is that you won’t get any symptoms of seasonal depression once the days become shorter. If you’re wondering, “are there any gyms near me with bright lights?” then an internet search should help. Before committing to a gym long-term, be sure to check the gym’s lighting at night. A gym that seems fine in the middle of the day, might actually be gloomy once the sun goes down. Make sure the gym will be bright enough to help you fight seasonal depression with exercise and lighting.
How Exercise Cures Seasonal Depression
Exercising in natural light is the best cure of seasonal depression, but exercising in brightly lit gyms is also effective. Spending time in bright light helps trigger the brain to make more of the hormones that eliminate the symptoms of seasonal depression. In addition, exercise triggers the production of dopamine, which produces a happy feeling.
Exercise also gets blood rich with oxygen pumping through your body. Your brain uses that oxygen to function better and that can also cause you to feel happier and more content. Exercising for 30-40 minutes every day in a gym with bright lights is a great way to get rid of the symptoms of seasonal depression.
Going to workout at gym will also help lift depression by getting you out of the house and interacting with other people. Joining a workout class or exercising with friends will keep you from hibernating in the house and feeling blue. Social interactions, exercise, and bright lights at the gym will combine to keep seasonal depression at bay.
If you have suffered from seasonal depression in the past or if you think that you might have it now, joining a gym and starting on a regular exercise regimen is the best thing you can do to manage the symptoms. Regular exercise will also help you maintain a healthy weight and improve your overall fitness. You might even find that by trying different exercise classes you find a new sport or a new activity that you really enjoy.
If your symptoms are significant, consult with a medical professional to make sure your symptoms are properly managed. They can also make sure there aren’t other medical conditions causing your seasonal depression or medical problems that might restrict your ability to exercise.