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Can Exercise Relieve Depression?

Depression is a common condition among older adults. While getting older comes with a lot of positives, like the more relaxed lifestyle of retirement and grandchildren, it also has its negatives. The negatives of declining health, a feeling of a lack of purpose, and the loneliness of not being able to get out as much can lead to depression.

Home Health Care Santa Rosa CA - Can Exercise Relieve Depression?

Home Health Care Santa Rosa CA – Can Exercise Relieve Depression?

While depression can be treated with medications and counseling, these methods alone aren’t always as effective as we’d like. However, a growing body of research suggests that adding regular exercise to the treatment plan can make a difference in relieving depression symptoms.

Exercise and Depression Research

Two researchers, Felipe Barretto Schuh and Brendon Stubbs (from Brazil and the UK respectively), recently conducted a review of available information concerning depression and how it is affected by exercise.

The review involved data from 49 different studies with a total of 266,939 participants. The results of the study showed that exercise had a significant antidepressant effect. Unfortunately, they also found that most treatment plans for depression don’t include exercise. Instead, they typically rely on antidepressant drugs and psychotherapy.

How Exercise Fights Depression

Experts at the Mayo Clinic say that exercise is effective in reducing symptoms of depression in several ways, such as:

Endorphins: Exercise causes the body to release endorphins, which are sometimes referred to as “feel good” chemicals.

Distraction: When people exercise, it takes their minds off their worries, which can break the cycle of negative thoughts.

Confidence: The more a person exercises, the more they will be capable of doing. Meeting exercise goals and being more fit can increase confidence.

Socialization: Getting out to exercise gives people a chance to see others. They may spark conversations and make new friends. Even just greeting people with a smile as they take a walk can make them feel better.

Coping Strategy: Exercising to reduce depression symptoms is an excellent coping strategy because it gives the person some control over their condition and allows them to play an active role in their treatment plan.

If your aging relative suffers from depression and wants to be more physically active to fight the symptoms, home health care can help. A home health care provider can offer transportation to the gym, a yoga studio, or an exercise class at the local senior center. Home health care providers can also go for walks with them, ensuring the older adult does not fall and giving them someone to chat with while they walk.


If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring Home Health Care Services in Santa Rosa CA, call At Your Service Home Care.  Call today! (707) 573-1003

Lucy Andrews DNP, RN, MS

In 1988, after working as a clinical nurse in the University Health System at UC San Francisco, Lucy Andrews started understanding home care.

She became a discharge planner and immediately fell in love with the concept of home care and the autonomous clinical practice it affords nurses. Dr. Lucy was hooked and has been a strong supporter of home care ever since.Believing people need advocates in healthcare systems, she has championed that cause across the acute care and post-acute care setting.

Dr. Lucy has worked in every aspect of home care from Medicare Certified, DME, Infusion, Hospice and finally Private Duty/Private Pay services. She also works as a home care consultant across the country and as a legal nurse consultant for the home care industry.

Having worked in all areas of home care, Dr. Lucy has a well-rounded perspective of the challenges facing patients, families and the home care industry, and as a provider she advocates for patients through the maze of health care services. Dr. Lucy celebrated over 37 years as a nurse and patient advocate.

Dr. Lucy has a Baccalaureate Degree in Nursing from Lewis University, Romeoville, Illinois.In 1994, she received her Masters of Science in Health Service Administration from St. Mary's University, Moraga, California. Dr. Lucy received her Doctor of Nursing Practice awarded in 2016, graduating with Distinction and a 4.0 GPA.

She did her doctoral work on the global dementia crisis, aging and prevention strategies for healthy living. Developed dementia and Alzheimer's disease plans for aging patients leaving the hospital setting or entering long-term care or home health and hospice environments. She also developed a specialized program for those at risk for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

In 1992, Dr. Lucy was designated CAHSAH Certified Home Care Administrator in the inaugural offering of this designation through the California Association for Health Services at Home (CAHSAH).

She is the founder and CEO of Creative Solutions Home Care Consulting Services and At Your Service Nursing & Home Care, a concierge nursing & home care agency that provides the services she believes are essential for seniors to age in place.She offers a higher level of care allowing people to be in their own homes with an emphasis on independence, safety, and quality of life.

Dr. Lucy is the Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for the National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC) and sits on the Board of Directors for California Association for Health Services at Home (CAHSAH).

She has served on the boards for both state and national board associations, and is currently on the following boards and committees: Board of Directors, California State Association for Health Services at Home (CAHSAH), 2002-present, National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC's) Private Duty Home Care Association Director, and multiple state and national home care committees.

Dr. Lucy goes to Washington, DC, several times a year to advocate for senior services and home care issues. She was past Commissioner for the Sonoma Commission on Human Rights.She is past chair of the local Senior Advocacy Services.

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