The Workout That Helps This Actress Cope With Depression

mbg Contributor By Leigh Weingus
mbg Contributor
Leigh Weingus is a New York City based freelance journalist writing about health, wellness, feminism, entertainment, personal finance, and more. She received her bachelor’s in English and Communication from the University of California, Davis.
The Workout That Helps This Actress Cope With Depression

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Between acting and balancing motherhood, actress Busy Philipps has a lot on her plate. On top of that, she struggles with depression. The one thing she's found that helps, though, is sweating every single day—no exceptions.

In an episode of her new podcast We're No Doctors, Philipps opened up about exactly what she does every morning to keep her depression at bay. "I've been dealing with it by doing these really intense endorphin workouts every morning, and for me it's been fucking life-changing," she said, referencing LEKfit in L.A. "I notice a difference between the days I don't do it and the days I do. I do it on a mini-trampoline, and it's a super-high-cardio HIIT kind of workout. Interval cardio, weights, jumping around—I've been doing it every morning for a year. I've noticed a huge difference."

Why HIIT workouts are so helpful.

Because of the intense nature of high-intensity interval workouts, they're excellent stress-busters—even if you only do them for a few minutes at a time. Krista Stryker, trainer and founder of The 12-Minute Athlete, turns to HIIT whenever she's feeling a little bit anxious or frazzled as a way to get a quick endorphin hit and turn her mood around.

She finds burpees and boxing to be particularly helpful when it comes to getting rid of stress. "Burpees are one of those exercises that most people have a love/hate relationship with, but they're such a great, efficient, full-body exercise that no matter how you feel about them, you should do them anyway," she explains. "Since burpees will start to tire you out within the first 10 to 20 reps, they're a fantastic exercise to do when you're feeling a little frazzled to help boost your heart rate, bring your stress levels down, and burn some extra calories while you're at it."

Stryker also relies on short boxing workouts to deal with frustration. "There's nothing quite like hitting or kicking something really hard to help relieve any stress," she says. "Anytime I'm feeling frustrated, overwhelmed, or just plain angry, I'll hit my punching bag for a few minutes like crazy, and magically, I'll have punched all that energy and stress away. Seriously, if you've never boxed when you're upset or stressed out, you've gotta try it—it's the best thing ever."

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About that trampoline.

Endorphin rushes aside, there's actually a physiological reason bouncing on a trampoline adds to feelings of joy and comfort. "As babies, our heart rate decreases when we are cradled and rocked. We have an innate desire to be bounced, held, cradled, and rocked," explains Louis Coraggio, founder of the trampoline workout TrampoLEAN. "Since our cells are programmed this way, when we jump on a trampoline, it naturally makes us happy and puts us into a positive state of mind. At the top of each jump, we become weightless for a fraction of a second. This feeling alters our sensory system, which is similar to the feeling you get on a roller coaster."

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