Canada's largest mental health teaching hospital, The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) says that in any given year, 1 in 5 people in Canada will experience a mental health issue. One of the most common forms of mental health challenges is depression.
Happily, there are proven ways we can help ourselves recover from depression, and one of those is regular exercise. The 2005 study “Exercise treatment for depression: efficacy and dose response”, published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, found the “public health dose” (exercising 5x/week, and burning 17.5 kcal/kg/week) led to depression remission rates of 42%.
As a comparison, the Collaborative Depression Study found that cognitive behavioural therapy (or CBT) has a remission rate of 36%, and antidepressant medication 42%.
The big takeaway: Exercise showed the same remission rates as antidepressant medication! This shows us that exercise is an important part of our holistic approach in tackling depression.
Why is exercise good for depression?
The three basic elements of brain health, according to Datis Kharrazian, author of “Why Isn’t My Brain Working?” are:
Exercise causes us to breathe more and increases our heart rates, which increases blood flow. This circulates more oxygen through our whole body, including our brains.
Exercise also improves our body's use of glucose (sugars from carbohydrates), and increases sensitivity to insulin. Improved insulin sensitivity means balanced blood sugar. This means our brain gets the balanced fuel it needs for health.
And all movement, especially vigorous exercise, provides stimulation of neurotransmitter activity in the brain.
Additionally, exercise produces feel-good endorphins, relieves stress, and helps us sleep, which all help to manage depression.
What kind of exercise is best?
Exercise means any physical movement that requires effort. It doesn’t mean we need to run marathons, lift heavy weights, or turn ourselves into pretzels at yoga (but we could, if that’s our thing!).
But what’s best: strength, cardio, or flexibility?
The truth is, all of them are beneficial. Unless we are specialized, elite athletes, it is best for us to regularly do a variety of different physical activities that engages our ability to exert physical force (strength), our physical endurance (cardiovascular), and our ranges of motion (flexibility).
If you are already exercising, keep it up, knowing it’s important to maintain mental as well as your physical health. If you’re just starting out, remember that any exercise is better than no exercise. Start with gentle daily movement and simply sitting less. Here are some general exercise recommendations:
not getting the full complement of the 7 vitamins and 23 amino acids found in Freeminos in your diet, you won’t have all the building blocks your brain and body needs to run all its chemical reactions. When your body doesn’t get all these amino acids, it has to break down tissues like muscles to sustain vital functions. Unfortunately, if you have a health condition like depression, or experience a lot of physical or mental stress you have a higher risk of this breakdown occurring.
So take your Truehope Freeminos, and remember to have grace with yourself.
What will you do today to get moving? Share with us on Facebook, we love hearing from you!
We want to provide nothing but the highest quality information and advice for our followers to improve their health, which is why at Truehope Canada, we're happy to say our writer is a Certified Life Coach and Registered Holistic Nutritionist.