Depression is the number one cause of disability across the globe, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Research shows that one out of 10 adults in the United States suffers from depression. There have been a lot of studies regarding other ways to treat depression, and engaging in physical activity is one of them. Enrolling yourself to fitness clubs may be an effective way to cope with stress.
Effects of exercise in mental health
Exercise starts a series of physiological health benefits, such as reducing the risk for cardiovascular diseases, reduce stress, and improve sleep. It also releases the body’s natural feel-good chemicals called endorphins, which results in what they call “runner’s high.” For most people, constant low-intensity exercise is more effective. This kind of exercise results in the release of proteins called neurotrophic or growth factors. These factors cause cells to grow and improve their connection neurologically. This growth of connection improves brain function and makes people feel better. Neuroscientists have noticed that people with depression have smaller hippocampus in the brain. This region of the brain helps regulate a person’s mood. Physical activity promotes the growth of cell and improves nerve cell connections.
Find a physical activity you are interested in. Join fitness clubs, biking groups, or yoga class. It is better to have a group where you can exercise and socialize at the same time. Start your exercise gradually and aim to finish at least 150minutes in one week.
If you haven’t exercised for a long time, or have other co-morbidites, you might want to have a talk with your doctor first. It’s better to run some tests and determine to what extent of exercise you can engage in.
Doctors often prescribe antidepressant medication, but experts believe that a simpler and more readily available treatment can help. Exercise can be just as effective as antidepressants, note Harvard Medical School, although they acknowledge that medication may also be necessary in severe cases.
However, a new study by researchers at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor has found that the effect of exercise on depression differs for men and women. The scientists studied the exercise and sleep patterns of more than 1,100 people studying at Beijing University in China.
Experts already know that disturbed sleep is a feature of depression and that exercise is a potential treatment for this mental health condition. In the new study, the researchers asked the participants to complete three questionnaires, which asked them about their sleep, exercise, and depressive symptoms.…