Exercise is Your Best Friend When Fighting Depression!
All of us must know that there are many benefits to weight training. We know that exercise can help fight heart disease, but can you fight depression with exercise?
The Harvard Study is amazing.
Why would anyone prefer to go to counseling for an hour over strength training?
If you start to fight depression with exercise by way of weight training, you will realize so many benefits that you just cannot get from counseling alone.
Psychologists and counselors have their role, but the most important ingredients in changing our body and minds lies with us alone; specifically the food that we eat and the type of exercise that we get, or even do we get any exercise at all.
We are built to move as anyone can see and we are not built to be sitting for hours on end.
Start moving as nature intended and you will see how effective exercise can be in fighting depression, walking for sure and weight training as well which is discussed further in the article.
1. Fight Depression with Exercise to Lift Your Mood
Not feeling good?
Need an instant mental and mood boost?
The science is simple!
If you suffer from feeling down at times or serious depression, then you can find solace in weight training!
You can fight depression with exercise, especially weight training.
Of course there are countless benefits to weight training.
However, there are many that go far beyond just looking good!
Here is a quick list of mental and emotional benefits that you will get from banging some weights around!
And I will go into detail later on how weight training is your lethal ammunition against fighting and winning the war on depression for good!
2. Fight Depression with Exercise – The Benefits
When you fight depression with exercise and lift weights you:
3. Have an instant release of “feel good” hormones called endorphins.
I have to second this fact right now, as I mentioned above, within an hour of doing squats and deadlifts yesterday, I was already feeling much better and was able to get out of a serious malaise of depression. If I had not spent 45 minutes doing squats and deadlifts, I am pretty sure that I might still be stuck in that pit.
4. You enjoy a feeling of accomplishment after you finish your workout.
5. You know if you can achieve getting through your grueling hard core weight training workout, you can achieve anything!
6. Your endurance level is increased, so you have more energy to tackle life’s challenges that come at you.
7. You have pride in yourself by sticking to a workout program.
8. Your high protein food plan that usually goes with weight training is superior for your brain.
Higher protein food aids in the well being of your mental state, as high protein lean fish, red meats and chicken are “super brainy” foods. While the majority of fitness research efforts focus on the physical and health benefits of exercise, there is a growing body of work demonstrating that exercise promotes wellness and mental health.
9. Fight Depression with Exercise and You Might Not Need Antidepressants
Researchers at Duke University studied people suffering from depression for 4 months and found that 60% of the participants who weight trained for 40 minutes 4 times a week overcame their depression without using antidepressant medication.
This is the same percentage rate as for those who only used medication in their treatment for depression.
The study at Duke University is another incredible proof of the capacity that we all have to fight depression with exercise. I would like to see a day when a prescription to a gym or a personal trainer is given to a patient before a prescription for antidepressants at a pharmacy. That is going to be the whole point of the non profit that I am working to set up called Lift2Lift which you will hear more about on this site fairly soon!
When you fight depression with exercise, you will also get a boost of confidence along with reducing anxiety and stress, all of which contribute to psychological health and well-being.
So, weight training can be viewed as a preventative or wellness activity that may actually help prevent physical and emotional conditions. By the way, even short bursts of activity help individuals feel better, which means that you don’t have to spend hours at the gym to gain real mental health benefits.
Being a weight loss success myself, I know first hand how it is to feel down from being fat and frumpy!
Since becoming a fitness expert here in Miami, and also worldwide through my innovative programs, I have noted one reason for the feelings of well-being that are generated during and after exercise: the body’s natural release of endorphins.
These chemicals released by the brain are the body’s natural painkillers and can lead to an increase in feelings of happiness.
Exercise leads to an increase in energy and to better sleeping patterns, which may also explain why it is so helpful to people with depression. Low energy and poor sleep are common symptoms of depression.
I also warn against the “punitive mindset” in which some people engage during exercise, viewing it as a task or punishment instead of a pleasure.
Instead, I recommend that you view movement as an affirmation of living and a function to maintain wellness. You get to give yourself the greatest reward in life, the gift of weight training!
10. Fight Depression with Exercise – The New Meditation
Even though meditation and yoga are very essential in achieving balance in the mind body and soul, through the more nontraditional methods such as weight training, you also achieve optimal levels of mental health.
Both meditation and weight training answer the need to have down time along with the need to quiet down and look within.
This is especially important because today people absorb more information in one day than a person in the 1400’s absorbed in an entire lifetime.
Weight training today helps you stay focused, strong and in control!
Technology, including cell phones, faxes and computers, along with the mentality of moving quicker and constantly doing things, tends to lead to people forgetting that this inward focus that weight training is necessary and vital to mental health.
With this information, it is easy to see how strength training is not only beneficial for the body but for emotional and mental health as well.
If you feel depressed, it’s best to do something about it – depression doesn’t just go away on its own. In addition to getting help from working with weights a doctor or therapist, here are 5 things you can do to feel better.
1. Fight Depression with Exercise Guidelines:
Weight train for at least 45 minutes 3 or 4 times a week. People who are depressed may not feel much like being active. But make yourself do it anyway (ask a friend to train with you or hire a trainer to get you on your upward spiral if you need to be motivated).
Once you get into the fight depression with exercise habit, it won’t take long to notice a difference in your mood.
2. Fight Depression with Exercise AND Good Nutrition:
Depression can affect appetite. One person may not feel like eating at all, but another might overeat. If depression has affected your eating, you’ll need to be extra mindful of getting the right nourishment.
Proper nutrition can influence a person’s mood and energy. So eat plenty of fruits and vegetables and get regular meals (even if you don’t feel hungry, try to eat something light, like a piece of fruit, to keep you going).
3. Fight Depression with Exercise and New Ways of Thinking
Try to identify any situations that have contributed to your depression. When you know what’s got you feeling blue and why, talk about it with a caring friend.
Talking is a way to release the feelings and to receive some understanding. If there’s no one to tell, pouring your heart out to a journal works just as well. Once you air out these thoughts and feelings, turn your attention to something positive. Take action to solve problems.
Ask for help if you need it. Feeling connected to friends and family can help relieve depression. (It may also help them feel there’s something they can do instead of just watching you hurt.)
A new way of thinking is a great supplement to fighting depression with exercise. I cover the new way of visualization and thinking of your circumstances in my upcoming ebook “Cross the Bridge from Living in Depression to a New Life; 10 Effective Strategies to Overcome Depression”. If you are interested to be kept informed as to when the ebook will be available, please subscribe to the site today and I will inform you as soon as it is ready.
4. Fight Depression by Expressing Yourself:
With depression, a person’s creativity and sense of fun may seem blocked. By exercising your imagination through blogging, painting, drawing, doodling, sewing, writing, dancing, composing music, etc. you not only get those creative juices flowing, you also loosen up some positive emotions.
Take time to play with a friend or a pet, or do something fun for yourself. Find something to laugh about – a funny movie, perhaps. Laughter helps lighten your mood.
5. Fight Depression with Exercise and Real Food
Food Plan For Fighting Depression
Omega-3 fatty acids are needed to build healthy brain cells, along with phosphatidylserine. Other herbs, including eleuthero, rhodiola, and ginseng, can help the body to adapt to stress, while St. John’s wort and SAMe work as natural antidepressants.
- Olive Oil
- Coconut Oil
- Flax Seed Oil
- Cage Free Eggs
Also make sure you get tons of water and rest!
IMPORTANT NOTE: If you feel you are experiencing depression, please seek professional help as well as look into dietary changes, exercise, and the support of family can be a good start to a healthier outlook on life.
The importance of eating real food daily cannot be overstated when you are speaking about fighting depression and obesity with exercise. To read more about how to fight depression with the exercise, the habit of eating real food click here. When you combine the power of real food together with the magical benefits of when you fight depression with exercises like deadlifts, squats and pushups, you can see amazing results.
Why Does Exercise Work to Fight Depression?
Now we know that you can fight depression with exercise, but now we answer the question WHY does it help to fight depression with exercise?
The reason is that weight training increases serotonin levels, a neurotransmitter that helps us feel calm and relaxed.
Low serotonin levels are believed to be the reason for many mild to moderate cases of depression. Even as little as ten minutes of your choice to fight depression with exercise every day can help. The more you fight depression with exercise the better you feel, not to mention the added benefit of looking better too.
In the Story of Hashi Mashi I relate how I was looking for a way to fight depression with exercise and real food when I accidentally discovered that not only could I fight depression with exercise and real food fairly effectively, but I could actually transform the way that I looked completely. Check out how I found the powerful exercises to lose weight and transform your physique in the Hashi Mashi Story here.
You can visit Jennifer at www.JenniferNicoleLee.com for more fitness tips, innovative lifestyle and weight loss programs, plus so much more! You can also email her your questions to [email protected].