Mental health, especially depression, is a serious concern worldwide. Due to the inconspicuous nature of these ailments, we often shy away from addressing them adequately. However, this doesn’t eliminate them from our lives. Rather they slowly evolve and grow with time, taking over our personalities, if left untreated.
One of the reason why many people refrain from treating these insidious ailments is because they have no alternatives except pharmaceutical options. However, you can be hopeful as exercise can very well be your new anti-depressant.
Depression, Heart Diseases And Fitness
According to a study conducted on 18,000 participants, middle-aged people with a fit body were at a lesser risk of heart attack later in life even if diagnosed with depression.
While studying the correlation between cardiovascular health in midlife and cardiovascular mortality after 60 years of age due to depression, researchers concluded that people who were fitter were 16% lesser susceptible to depression. People who were fit and still developed depression later in life showed 56% lesser risk of cardiovascular problems.
Though it can be quite a challenge for people suffering from depression to form a consistent exercise routine, it is not impossible.
Staying Fit When Depressed
Multiple researches indicate that patients of anxiety and depression can perform only ¾th of the exercise they are asked to. However, there are certain steps that can help the patients improve their performance overtime and achieve fitness.
- Decide a particular time to perform your workout every day. Do not feel discouraged if you take long stretches of rest in between. Resume your exercise as soon as you feel like doing so.
- Make your workout interesting by incorporating different types of exercises. As long as your workout has the fun element, you will be motivated to perform it.
- Choose a workout buddy. Consider someone you are comfortable exercising with.
- Choose someone who can monitor your workout routine and hold you accountable for missing out. You don’t necessarily need a trainer, a friend or someone you feel close to would do.
The findings cited above are similar for younger age groups especially college students who are entering workforce. Since new employees suddenly drop off physical activity due to their work hours, they often get affected with conditions such as stress and depression. The best way to keep yourself safe from the onslaught of mental health problems that can lead to cardiovascular problems is to ensure your fitness.
For most people, the best way to treat depression is to engage in a demanding workout daily. This is because depression can lead to many other serious ailments such as obesity, kidney problems and diabetes; which all are connected to the use of antidepressants.
Exercising decreases inflammation, which is a major cause for depression. Eliminating inflammation means eliminating depression and a possible heart attack.
Rather than relying on medicines to treat depression, its best to maintain an active lifestyle with some psychotherapy sessions. This is especially useful for younger patients who have ample energy reserves.
In order to embrace healthy aging, fitness and physical activity are vital components. Though these may formulate the essentials of a balanced lifestyle for some people, we need to witness more deliberate changes on cultural and social level. Despite the evidence that there are far healthier options, many of us still blindly opt for pharmaceutical options, which is not the safest course of action in battling against depression.