My name is Lizzie Simmon. I'm the author of Detour, My Bipolar Road Trip in 4-D and I live with bipolar disorder.
For me, exercise really helps me manage my moods; even though I'm on treatment I do get mildly depressed and just last year, I tried running and it worked. It worked immediately actually.
The thing about running is that every single time you do it, you feel better. It has the kind of instant effect and I started to really enjoy it.
Exercise can help someone with bipolar disorder because when you're exercising your brain is releasing neurotransmitters called endorphins that are that natural high
that enhance your mood and then keep that sustained throughout the day.
I tend to run every day or almost every day about two to three miles a day. I know that every time that I run, I sleep better at night and in general my body just feels better.
Once I started running, I was surprised at how mental it could be and how much I was using the coping mechanisms that I learned in therapy.
People with bipolar that are going through a depressive stage, exercising can really help.
And then, when you're going through a manic stage it can aid is a coping mechanism which has them focused on something else rather than choosing risky behaviors.
The thing is about bipolar disorders you know none of us picked to have it and there's a lot that is beyond our control.
When you're depressed, you feel like nothing's ever going to get any better. You feel like -- the way you feel in that moment is the way you're going to feel for life and it's just not true.
It passes and there's something about moving your body physically that teaches you that.
So, if you want to start incorporating exercise into your teams, start with 15 minutes a day, work your way up to 30 minutes a day.
Be sure to start out easily, something as simple as walking and then, start with three times a week and work up to five times a week. Find something you enjoy.
It will help you stick with the program such as gardening, jogging, tennis or even just cleaning your house.
What everybody else is doing and the speed that they're doing it doesn't need to affect you. The point is to find out something that you like that you can get into, because the impact will be huge.