The connection between physical fitness and better mental health is becoming common knowledge. But when faced with your teen’s depression, it can be hard to believe something so simple as a lack of physical fitness could really impact your teen to such a great extent.
Get Depressed Teens Moving
An interesting study specifically examined the connection between the benefits of exercise and its effects on those clinically depressed.
One of the more interesting conclusions the study makes is that someone suffering from depression should make exercising frequently the focus of their efforts. The additions of intensity, duration, and weight loss-focus should only come after the exercise habit is established.
With the focus taken off of these other factors, your teen won’t feel as pressured to hit some metric. As many teens struggle with peer relations, whether bullying or peer pressure, they do not need the added pressure when starting a new exercise program.
Fitness and the Teen Brain
So if the key is to just get a depressed teen moving, then you will want to know what kinds of exercise will help your teen fastest.
This will highly depend on your teen’s normal interests, so we’ve compiled some suggestions based on different personality types and needs.
- Extrovert – Yes, someone with depression can be an extrovert. If anything, depression will hit your extroverted teen even harder, as the depression cuts them off from friends, they lose that source of positive energy. Team-oriented exercise, such as a local sports league, school sports, or simply attending exercise classes may be what your depressed and extroverted teen needs.
- Introvert – Solo activities like running will be right up your introverted teen’s alley. The added bonus is that when they want more interaction, they can have it. So say your teen does yoga 5 days a week, one of those days can be in a class with others. Or if they don’t want to be pinned down to a class schedule, many running groups work on a more drop-in basis which is great for when your depressed teen is up to have some company and create endorphins.
- Physically impaired – Whether a lifelong physical impairment or temporary, teens struggle when they aren’t able to be as physically active as their peers. Swimming benefits not only those physically fit, but can be the gentlest way to begin building strength and overall fitness.
Give Depressed Teens A Fresh Start
It can be hard to start new habits when none of the surroundings have changed. To help your teen kickstart great life habits, we at Sundance Canyon Academy are here for you and your family. We provide therapy alongside a top-notch education, and help your teen son work his way through his depression while getting him ready to return to his family. So if you find your son needs more help that you can give, we’re here to lend a helping hand.