The World Health Organization (WHO) indicates depression as the leading cause of disability cases globally. As a mental disorder, depression causes persistently low moods, lack of concentration, fatigue, appetite problems and loss of interest in hobbies. Severe cases of depression can also result in suicidal thoughts. While depression is prevalent among women, in forms such as postpartum depression (PPD) and post-menopausal syndrome (PMS), it can affect anyone.
According to studies, the causes of depression range from genetics to psychological and environmental factors. Conventional treatment options include antidepressants such as SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) and TCAs (tricyclic antidepressants), which can reduce some of the adverse symptoms. Unfortunately, most antidepressants carry an extensive profile of undesirable side effects, including weight gain. As such, psychologists recommend therapeutic approaches like a physical workout, meditation and natural remedies like CBD.
Can exercise treat depression?
You can effectively manage depression or even treat it completely. After diagnosis, your psychiatrist will advise on the best form of medication based on your needs. Popular options include antidepressant pills, psychotherapy, Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT), self-help and other therapies. Research also indicates that regular exercise can aid in the management and treatment of depression and other mental disorders, but how?
- Improving physical and mental health
Exercise is right for your physical and psychological wellbeing. It reduces the chances of getting lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular diseases, cancer and stroke. It can also help you relax your mind and promotes the creation of new neurotransmitter connections and brain cells. The new links can make you feel better, which is the familiar feeling you get after running or jogging. Because of this, it efficiently reduces mild to moderate depression and works just as good as pharmaceutical drugs.
Exercise also aids in the growth of nerve cells in the hippocampus, the region of the brain responsible for mood control. It prevents inflammation and produces more endorphins, which can elevate your moods. Working out can also aid in the elimination of harmful compounds from your body. As such, it is an essential component of most reputable rehab programs, such as the three-phase approach.
- Enhancing the quality of sleep and rest you get
Depression can result in sleep disruptions and progress into disorders such as insomnia and sleep apnea. Patients of chronic disruption may also feel the need to stay in bed all day. Both extremes are unhealthy and can result in a myriad of other adverse symptoms. Although there are medications for sleep, most are not recommendable as they are habit-forming. Regular exercise is one of the natural ways to establish balance in your sleeping patterns. Exercising also leaves you feeling exhausted and needing rest. You do not necessarily need to go to the gym to workout. Simple exercises like running and jogging can help you burn enough calories and break down your depression for deep sleep. You can make exercise part of your winding-down sleep ritual for even better results.
- Increase in appetite and metabolism
Depression can result in the loss of appetite for food. In other cases, it results in binge eating. If your depression is causing changes in your appetite and eating plans, you can combine multivitamins, natural options like CBD (cannabidiol) and exercise to restore a healthy metabolism. Working out will use up energy and sugar in your blood, leaving you hungry and ready to down a healthy meal. What’s more, a regular workout can improve your gut health and metabolism. You can include nutritious pre-workouts and post-workouts to ensure you are getting enough micronutrients required for optimal health.
- Physical fitness and confidence
A regular workout can help you attain your dream shape and fitness. Whether you need to shed extra weight for the summer or bulk up, exercises are quite effective in any fitness regimen. Achieving an aesthetic shape will boost your confidence and increase the release of feel-good hormones whenever you go out. In addition to alleviating your stress, it leaves you looking much better, a feat that no stress medication can provide. As such, exercise can effectively reduce depression that comes from being overweight or low self-esteem.
Physically active individuals are less likely to suffer from depression, anxiety and other mental disorders. Although you can exercise within the comfort of your home, it is recommendable to find a workout group or friends. This will help you set attainable workout objectives and also share moments that replace your frowns with smiles. When working out, make sure you complete all maneuvers in perfect form to grow proportionally. It is also advisable to vary your workouts and exercise all body muscles; include jogs, runs, squats, pushups, planks, dips, weights and stretches. This way, you will achieve desirable results from your activities. More importantly, consult your doctor to find effective ways to root out the cause of your depression. While exercising will help reduce the symptoms of depression, there are several other factors involved.
This content was originally published here.