It's pretty well known by now that around 1 in 4 people in the UK will suffer from some sort of mental illness at some point in their lives.
At any one time, it seems that just under 10% of people fit the medical definition of depression.
If you're one of them, here are 3 good reasons to exercise:
Exercise increases the production of endorphins in your brain. Endorphins are stress & "blues" inhibitors.
Of course, a good workout also acts as a distraction from the rest of the world.
Though we're not really sure of the mechanism, exercise increases the level of serotonin (a naturally occurring chemical in the brain). It's the brain' natural "Happy Drug".
Aerobic exercise, like running, seems to boost serotonin the most.
It's kind of obvious, but if you knacker yourself out exercising, you're more likely to get a better nights sleep.
According to the Sleep Foundation, poor sleep is common amongst those who are depressed. When you're permanently tired through lack of sleep, it's hard to think straight.
So exercise can play it's part in helping.
Just be careful - if you haven't exercised for a while, build up slowly... don't just throw yourself in at full pelt. That'd just be asking for injury.
A good place to start, or to re-start, is the Couch to 5K running programme which has been really popular.