One of the best things you can do for your emotional wellbeing is to move your body on a relatively consistent basis. That’s because regular exercise releases the “feel-good” chemicals (endorphins) in your brain and it actually increases the levels of the neurotransmitters that affect our mood (serotonin and dopamine) just like antidepressants do. In fact, one major study found that people with major depressive disorder who exercised for a half hour three to five days per week reduced their symptoms of depression by 50 percent. Exercise is not a substitute for professional mental health care when you need it, but it can make an incredible difference in how you feel. Here’s a starter list of ways to move your body.

Ways to move your body

  • Walking
  • Yoga (often community centers and YMCAs have low-cost options)
  • Gardening
  • Running
  • Zumba
  • Dance classes
  • Tai Chi
  • Jazzercise (yes, it’s still a thing!)
  • Tennis (check local parks for low court fees and lessons)
  • Swimming (community centers often have low membership fees)
  • Team sports (moms’ softball league, local women’s soccer league, grown-up kickball)
  • Online workouts
  • Workout DVDs
  • Exercise apps (there are lots of quick ones you can work in anytime)
  • Playing tag with your kids