Exercise as it relates to Disease/Exercise and Team Sports Effects on Depression
Exercise and Team Sports Effects on Depression.
Depression can be described as prolonged feelings of sadness, worthlessness and guilt. Although depression is a psychological condition it can also be detrimental to a persons physical health and quality of life. In Australia one in four woman and one in six men will experience depression at some point in their life. Depression can be influenced by many factors including lifestyle, genetics, environment, brain activity and personality. Depression may also occur for no apparent reason. Unfortunately severe cases of depression can lead to suicide.
Common Signs and Symptoms
- Loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities
- Lack of energy and motivation
- Seeming miserable
- Inability to concentrate
- Withdrawal from friends or family
- Change in appetite
- Suicidal thoughts
Benefits of Exercise and Team Sports
Evidence strongly suggests that physical activity is beneficial for people suffering from depression. Exercise alters the release of a hormone called serotonin. Serotonin is responsible for maintaining important bodily functions including our sleep wake cycle, mood, libido and appetite. Exercise helps to release endorphin's which are the bodies "feel good" hormones within the brain. Exercise is also effective in lifting energy levels in the body. Statistically people who are less active are more likely to suffer from depression than people who are regularly active.  Team sports can provide a sense of belonging and self worth for an individual. This can boost self esteem and and confidence.Team sports provide social interaction and help to maintain a connection with others. Being apart of a team gives people a sense of purpose and value.
Most forms of exercise have proven to ease the symptoms of depression. Little difference has been found between aerobic and anaerobic exercise for the treatment of depression. Positive outcomes rely more on the frequency of the exercise. Regular activity can be light to vigorous exercise.  Different people may find that different types of exercise work for them.
- Light walking, jogging or running.
- Resistance training
- Playing in a sports team
People should note that starting with realistic goals will help them ease into exercise. Its important to warm up and cool down especially for people who haven't been active for a long time. Activities should be fun and enjoyable. 
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) - A common and effective treatment for depression.
- Psychotherapy - Focuses on past experiences.
- Meditation - Promotes relaxation.
- Group Therapy - Working with others in a similar situation.
- Medication - Antidepressants.
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- Samantha Van Vleet. 2011. Sports may ease depression. [ONLINE] Available at: http://sports.yahoo.com/highschool/news?slug=ycn-8980645.[Accessed 14 October 13].
- Katherine Darton. 2012. Understanding Depression. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.mind.org.uk/assets/0002/2465/Understanding_depression_2012.pdf. [Accessed 14 October 13].
- C.R Brown, C. J Blanton, ‘Physical activity, sports participation, and suicidal behaviour among college students’, Official Journal of the American College of Sports Medicine.vol. 37, no.7, pp. 1087- 1096. Viewed 14th October 2011, http://www.setantacollege.com/wp-content/uploads/Journal_db/Physical%20activity,%20sports%20participation,%20and.pdf
- NPS Medicinewise. 2011. Tackle depression head on.[ONLINE] Available at: http://sport.gameday.com.au/index.php?id=718&tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=854&cHash=0cabb4fa37 [Accessed 14 October 13].
- Black Dog Institute.2013. Exercise and Depression. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/docs/exerciseanddepression.pdf. [Accessed 22 October 2013].
- National Heart Foundation of Australia.2007.Physical Activity and Depression. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.heartfoundation.org.au/SiteCollectionDocuments/Physical-activity-and-depression.pdf.[Accessed 22 October 2013]