A few years ago, I suffered from depression. I was always tired and never wanted to get out of bed. Starting an exercise program was the last thing I wanted to do. My mother signed me up to meet with a personal trainer. She had done a bunch of research and learned that regular exercise has proven to improve all sorts of health problems, including arthritis, diabetes and high blood pressure. According to what my mother read, exercise can also improve mood and lessen anxiety. I met with the personal trainer and exercise proved to be the perfect solution. Working out helped to take my mind off my problems and broke the cycle of negative thoughts. I’ve learned that strenuous activity releases feel-good endorphins and natural brain chemicals that promote a sense of well-being. The personal trainer set up a series of fitness goals for me. As I achieved those goals, I gained confidence and enjoyed a sense of accomplishment. I gradually started to feel stronger and better about my appearance. Interacting with the personal trainer was always a positive experience, and I looked forward to interacting with new people at the gym. I had tried alcohol, drugs and solitude, and those methods made my symptoms much worse. Exercise and physical activity changed my life. The personal trainer encouraged me to try anything that works the muscles, whether it’s going for a walk or pulling weeds or cleaning my house. I also included structured exercises under the supervision of the personal trainer. He mixed things up with weight training, cardio, stretching and static holds. As I started feeling stronger, I took an interest in playing tennis, riding my bicycle and kayaking.