by Kavita Jaikissoon

As of April 8, 2020, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has reported a total of 395,011 cases and 12,754 deaths in the United States. This is information is enough to strike fear into the hearts of thousands of Americans. 

Many people are choosing to stay indoors and practice social distancing. Public health officials have repeatedly said that this was the best way to keep the virus from spreading and to prevent yourself from being infected. While this may be the best way to ensure physical health, it can be detrimental to mental health.

It is not uncommon for people to become depressed or suffer from anxiety during a health crisis. People are worried about their health and the health of their loved ones.

Even with phones calls and video chatting, people can still be lonely. Humans are social creatures that crave interaction.

The internet may provide some distractions, but it does not change the fact that most people feel stuck at home.

The best way to combat depression and anxiety is through exercise.  

According to Mayo Clinic, “the links between depression, anxiety and exercise aren’t entirely clear — but working out and other forms of physical activity can definitely ease symptoms of depression or anxiety and make you feel better.”

Exercise causes the brain to release endorphins, natural brain chemicals, which makes people feel good. The effects of endorphins are similar to that of cannabis. Exercise can help people to “take their minds off worries so that they can get away from the cycle of negative thoughts that feed depression and anxiety,” according to the Mayo Clinic.

Any amount of exercise may make a difference in improving systems of depression and anxiety. The ideal amount of exercise to combat symptoms is 30 minutes a day. There are tons of different ways that people can work out without gym equipment. 

For people who have a large and empty space in their home, they can dance. Dancing to your favorite songs is an excellent way to have fun and burn calories. You can also video chat with friends and have a dance party.

Jumping rope and jumping jack contests are another option if you want a cardio workout instead. If you live in a small place, you can still exercise. Lunges, jogging in place, pushups, and sit-ups are perfect for conserving space. 

Some people do not like to exercise or are unable to do so for various reasons. For these people, their best option is to turn on some music and clean their homes. Cleaning requires a lot of movement for dusting and sweeping.

Another option is to look at YouTube workouts, download fitness apps, or join IG live exercise sessions for inspiration.  Regardless of which exercise you do, it is important to raise endorphins to combat symptoms of depression and anxiety.

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