Exercise is great for depression and mental health in general. We all know it – and if we don’t know it, there’s a wealth of research out there to help convince us.
My exercise ‘drug of choice’ is running: long, slow, sweeping kilometres, piled one atop the other, the creaks greased out after the first few k’s and the endorphin rush following thereafter.
However, because I’ve put on such a huge amount of weight in the last year, my ‘drug of choice’ is denied me – it would not be sensible to run at the moment, especially as I continue to recover from an Achilles issue.
So: I have turned to the pool; or, rather, I have returned to the pool.
I started a week ago today. Finding, to my dismay, that my local pool is a 25m one (making a round kilometre 40 laps rather than the less mentally wearing 20, as in a 50m pool) I nonetheless set myself the kilometre target, and rediscovered the joy of … well, simply swimming. It did take a bit of “just do it” attitude to expose my overweight body in a swimsuit, but settling into the remembered rhythm was worth it.
After a week I’m finding that my post-swim body feels different to my post-run body. I don’t go hell-for-leather, so there’s no need for dramatic stretching, and I feel nicely weary all over, instead of in isolated muscles.
So if you’re at home, wondering whether it’s worth trying, or trying again – my answer is a resounding “yes”!