Exercise cures depression
Sedentary lifestyle, a modern problem
People are less active today, in part because technology has made our lives easier. Few of us still perform manual tasks or have a job involve physical exertion. All our activities are now much less demanding in terms of physical effort.
Inactivity is a “silent killer”, actually. Sedentary behavior is very harmful to our health, increasing the risk of many chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.We shouldn’t try only to raise the level of activity of our activities, but we should also reduce the time we spend sitting down.
Benefits of exercise
Although we are sure you already know that physical activity is important, however, we want to bring into question its importance for ensuring a better life. Did you know, for example, that exercise reduces anxiety and stress, the risk of hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, insomnia, obesity and the likelihood of dementia? That not only improves physical functioning, but also the cognitive? That a little exercise can double muscle strength in people 87 years? Even more, psychological research shows that exercise can be the most reliable trigger of happiness (Lyubomirsky, 2008).
Tal Ben-Shahar, one of the most popular professors at Harvard University, believes that lack of exercise is like taking depresants. Here is why. A famous survey compared three groups of depressed patients. Who were prescribed (1) exercise only, (2) exercise with medication, and (3) medication only. The exercise was aerobic exercise–such as jogging or brisk walking–for 30 minutes, five days a week. The results: over 60 pecent of each group improved significantly. However, after 10 months, 9 percent of the exercise-only group became depressed again, while over 30 percent in the others relapsed.
Hence, this demonstrates that exercise alone can work as effectively as medication, but not necessarily for everyone. Some may need both medication and exercise, but exercise is a must. Dr. Ben-Shahar stated that exercise maintains the baseline of happiness, allowing for other activities to raise it.
Many people find an emotional release through physical activity. Physical activity occupies your mind and helps you put aside the long to-do-lists and frustrating situations – at least temporarily. Exercise also reduces cortisol, the stress hormone, releasing endorphins, the hormone of happiness. After performing exercises, it is normal to feel an improvement in your mood.
So when you go through a period when you do not feel like yourself, even if exercise are the last thing you’d think of to do, we recommend you to go to the gym or do some exercise outside, instead of laying down on your bed and complaining. One hour of aerobics, stretching exercises or jogging might be exactly what you need.