Physical and Mental Health are Connected and Working Out Can Help Fight Depression

Technology has brought about a hundred things to boast about in the twenty-first century. From earning potentials, daily life activities, chores to lifestyles, nearly everything has… Trista - January 28, 2020

Technology has brought about a hundred things to boast about in the twenty-first century. From earning potentials, daily life activities, chores to lifestyles, nearly everything has evolved with the rolling of time. However, in this racing and pacing of time, health issues have become a significant concern. A substantial percentage of the populace, irrespective of their ages, is suffering from cardiac and chronic diseases. The number of types of health ailments has doubled in the last five years. However, what has become even more of a significant concern is mental health.

Mental health issues might sound like major psychiatric diseases and concerns, and that is actually what comes to our mind when we hear the term mental health. However, that is not the case in today’s time. A recent significant survey states that more than 85% of the population is affected by mental health issues even though it is not evident on the surface. Anxiety disorder, hyperactivity, ADHD, personality disorders, mood disorders, and traumatic disorders are some of the most significant facing problems that are taking the modern world by storm. The most affected ones include people in their twenties and thirties, also known as millennials.

Depression is not an easy thing to deal with at any age. Shutterstock.

Millennials Are Affected By Depression

Some recent researches state that the percentages of depression and anxiety have increased in recent times significantly among millennials. Medical proofs show that there are personal causes, past incidents that trigger these mental health disturbances in individuals at an early age. However, one of the most essential reasons that stand tall that triggers depression is the lifestyle of this generation.

The easy-to-fall rabbit hole of the current lifestyle has made it even tougher for today’s population to make it up to a physically and mentally healthy lifestyle. The junk and processed foods, excessive screen hours, and detachment from nature are some of the leading reasons why most of the young generation is suffering from depression symptoms, which they are even unaware of. However, one of the most important reasons why people are suffering from depression is the lack of exercise. Believe it or not, medical proofs show that working out for just 30 minutes regularly is capable of reducing depression by nearly 18%.

Studies have shown that exercise improves mood. Shutterstock.

What Is Life Like If You Exercise Regularly?

Daily exercise for only a minimum amount of time has shown extremely positive effects on people who have followed it. It can be considered as an overall relief for chronic ailments and daily mental health triggers. Medical test reports show that there are vast differences between people who work out daily and people who do not understand when it comes to physical and mental health conditions. Here are some of the literal proofs of how the individual feels after half an hour of workout.

Minimize the stress in your life to start feeling better. Shutterstock.

Relieve Stress

All diseases are affected by stress, and it is a proven fact. This concept is one of the primary triggers for both physical and mental health conditions. A large number of people are victims of depression due to nothing but the rising levels of their daily life stress. Whether you are dealing with stress from work, school or something else, exercising can significantly lower stress levels. Working up a sweat will help you get your mind off of other problems, like stuff going on with your family or friends.

Getting exercise also improves your memory. Shutterstock.

Enhance Memory

Physical exercise promotes mental health, which helps in keeping the brain sharp. Exercising is known for boosting the levels of oxygen in the brain, which prevents the mind from undergoing memorizing issues. Exercising is thus, considered as a multichannel medium to attain mental health capacity and brainpower. If you are forgetting why you walked into the room, maybe working out can help no matter how old you are in life.

Regulate Hormones

One of the most common problems that modern women experience is hormone issues. This issue can arise at a young age, or much later in life. Exercising can regulate hormones significantly in a woman’s body, which can free them from cramps and other menstrual health issues and also help them control mood swings. Yogasana is considered an ideal remedy for this problem, so maybe you should give it a try.

Anxiety makes it difficult to think clearly. Shutterstock.

Calm Anxiety

A certain amount of workouts releases endorphins in the brain. It is a chemical that can reduce irritation and anxiety significantly. If you get really agitated by little things and have tried nerve-calming medications, exercising is probably what you are missing. It is the least harmful and most effective way of getting rid of irritation, an abrupt reaction that can lead to more significant problems like low self-esteem. Swimming, brisk walking, cycling, or even walking in the fresh air can help you to get rid of anxiety-related issues.

Regular sleep will help to reset your body’s clock. Shutterstock.

Improve Sleep

Did you know that eating right, working out, and getting good rest are all related? It’s true. Working out regularly for a certain amount of time is the best way to boost your sleep. People suffering from sleep disorders or insomnia are often suggested specific diets, meditation along with the right amount of physical exercises by health physicians nowadays. Aerobics, workout and yogic practices are now significantly replacing sleep medications.

There are a lot of scientific studies that show that mental and physical health are linked together. Shutterstock.

The Link Between Physical and Mental Health

Before fighting depression, it is essential to understand what causes depression, and surprisingly, the actual answer is unknown. Genetic history, stressful or traumatic life occurrences, excessive release of certain brain chemicals are some of the top ways that cause mental health issues, especially mild to severe daily life depression.

The connections between the physical body and the mind are significant. People with unstable mental health conditions are much more prone to becoming victims of chronic risks. Mental health is considered to be as important as physical health. Depression and stress are known for carving a pathway for more risky health ailments in the later part of life. Severe mental health problems arise in an individual’s way before the time at an extremely early age due to ignorance of depressive symptoms.

Self-care is essential in ensuring a sound body and a healthy mind. Shutterstock.

Focus on Both Your Mental and Physical Health

Most people are focused on treating physical health and ignoring mental health, which should not be the case. This mindset and approach are even more common in the third world or developing nations. Treating mental health conditions still exists as an open concept there, and an equal amount of attention must be given to them. Offering secure and robust guidance when it comes to a child’s mental health is extremely important. The guidance is even more critical when it comes to the developing stage, as that is the most delicate phase of finding information that shall have a significant effect in the future.

Traumatic experiences in childhood can significantly affect your future. Shutterstock.

Childhood Depression

Nearly 5% of the world’s children undergo childhood anxiety and depression. Specific symptoms like laziness, poor performance in school, crying or getting sad on small things, overreacting, or feeling angry are some of the signs that should not be ignored. They can be the signs that your child is suffering from mental health issues and sometimes even depression. Childhood depression, if not addressed at the right time, can cause many problems in the future, affecting the child’s other aspects of life, whether it is personal or professional.

Medication may be the first step to retaking control of your life. Shutterstock.

Are Medications the Only Remedy for Depression?

Well, the answer is no, luckily! Top scientists and leading psychologists are agreeing that outdoor play or exercises can cure symptoms of depression in a child significantly. Children are playful in nature and should not be restricted from being so at any cost. Children of the twenty-first century are highly pressurized by the ultramodern lifestyle that they are somewhat forced to cope with. They live in a highly competitive age, especially the generation of Gen X, unlike the baby boomers, and not all young minds function equally.

Hence, the mentoring and guiding style of children shall differ, not ignoring their mental health conditions even if mild at any cost. Antidepressants or core psychiatric medications can be extremely harmful to young ones. More than one can imagine! They are incredibly vulnerable to receiving the side effects at a later stage. This is precisely where the significance of exercising comes into the picture.

Scientists state that exercise is excellent for your kid’s mind and brain power. They not only help them stay active and happy but also allow them to be sharp when it comes to attaining academic excellence. Encouraging them to spend time out in nature, participating in school games, group hiking with parents, or taking part in any outdoor sports can be great solutions for curing childhood depression.

Depression can take an intense toll on the rest of your body. Shutterstock.

The Effects of Depression on Physical Health

Similarly, depression can trigger several physical health issues in an individual. It can affect each individual in different ways. To some, the effect might be severe, while for some, it might be affected in mild forms. Constricted blood circulation, shortness of breath, restlessness, sweating palms, body weight fluctuations, increased cardiac problems, clingy feelings, increased or less appetite are some of the physical health-hampering symptoms caused by depression. Depression might sound like a confined mental health problem; however, its branches can spread to innumerable adverse possibilities.

Figuring out where to start can give you a foundation to getting healthy again. Shutterstock.

Exercises to Help Overcome Depression

So, if exercises are capable of curing depression, you might be wondering if any specific type of exercise shall help in curing depression. There is no hard and fast category of workouts. However, sure, you can follow some strategies and approaches that will make your journey much more flexible and smooth.

For example, an exhausting and intense workout is not required. Yes, if you are up to attaining a gym-like structure, you can surely go for the kind mentioned above workout. However, this is not the case when it comes to curing depression. Mental health experts state that adults who at least go for 35 minutes of walking or 15 minutes of a jog for six weeks each day noticed a cut down in the levels of depression by 47%.

Sports not only keep the blood moving but also serves as a great distraction from intrusive thoughts. Shutterstock.

Try Competitive Sports

These activities are to keep you motivated to achieve your goal. In the initial stage, you might not be quite up for practicing yoga or exercising alone. You can, thus, do anything that allows you to be in a group or creates a competitive environment. You can sign up for activities with your friends, or a sports organization, or even attend any event organized by people on social media. Once you sign up, you will keep receiving notifications.

Yoga increases flexibility and blood flow, and also promotes mindful thinking. Shutterstock.

What About Yoga?

So, there is a good reason to mention yoga here, as this is one of the methods that invade deep enough to reach your mental health strings. The workouts in yoga are often entailed with mind-stimulating practices, which include meditation, spiritual sessions, Reiki healing, and many more. This method is a significant and direct connection made via this practice. It is considered quite useful and powerful more than any other.

Get as much out of your workout as possible; the effort you put in will produce the results you want. Shutterstock.

Maximize Your Workout

Working out is an excellent remedy to help yourself get out of the phase of depression. However, if you back it up with some other solutions, you will attain even better results. Also, backing up your workout efforts can help you achieve faster results, which can motivate you to work even more. While you are trying to treat your depression through exercise, you can equally work toward eating better. This concept means you will lose weight and feel better at the same time.

Healthy eating will also improve your physical health so that you have the energy to get out of bed. Shutterstock.

Eat Right

Diet is one of the most essential factors, and definitely, there is no doubt about it. You are what you eat. Without the right kind of diet, you will certainly not be able to accomplish what you are looking for. Workout, nutrition, and mental health are all linked with the same line that will affect each of the aspects equally. It is specifically where the importance of diet comes into the picture. Remember, eating the proper foods is important, but it is also about eating at the right time of the day, too.

If you don’t feel like going alone, ask a friend to go with you to workout. Shutterstock.

Invite a Friend

While it is not vital to get a partner for your workout sessions, you can consider this as an excellent tip to attain the best results. Starting exercise can be quite tough when you are suffering from depression. It is, thus, imperative that you put effort into enhancing your exercise sessions. If not a partner, you can also take your pet for long walks or jogs amidst nature that will help you stay pepped up throughout your course. Not only that, but it will also add an edge to your workout session.

Try something new and different so that you don’t fall into the same routines. Shutterstock.

Learn Some Fun Workouts with New Equipment

Equipment is the new language that the entire world of fitness is talking about in today’s time. There is innumerable fun equipment made available in today’s market that you can go ahead and opt for. It is not only to do your workout sessions much safer but also much more fun for the best results. Equipment can impact one’s psyche in many ways, which will make the course much more fun. Try finding a new workout that seems more like a cool activity than exercise.

Speak with a professional to see what’s best for your path forward in improving mental health. Shutterstock.

Psychologists Emphasize Mental Health Benefits Linked to Physical Workouts

As already mentioned, physical health is deeply linked to mental health; psychologists are laying efforts to find more about the process of how exactly it works. It is being proven that physical health stimulation is a slow process but incredibly useful when compared to medication. Antidepressants come with several adverse effects or side effects that can invite specific health-related challenges in the long run. Exercise is also an excellent cure for depression when medications do not work for patients. Not all patients react to drugs, which make physical health exercises even more useful for the treatment of depression.

A fitness program also puts you in contact with a trainer who can help you meet your goals. Shutterstock.

Advantages of Fitness Programs

Experts are launching excellent fitness programs that focus on unique mental health-stimulating physical exercises. They are specially designed to cure each type of mental health condition, which may include anxiety, depression, eating disorders, insomnia, and many more. There are innumerable benefits of fitness programs designed for curing depression, and the following are some of the prominent benefits. The bottom line is that if you want to use exercise to help curb your depression then you need to know the benefits you are about to obtain in the process.

Dopamine is the “feel good” drug that makes us more positive throughout our days. Shutterstock.

Increase the Release of Dopamine and Other Happy Chemicals

This concept is the best scientific explanation of how exercising can actually reduce symptoms of depression or even low feelings. From dopamine to endorphins, all relaxed and happy chemicals take a heightened level in the brain when the body is working out. These chemicals are often released when an individual performs an exercise, enjoys a bite of Belgium chocolate, or meets their date. The release of these chemicals in the brain is critical if one needs to get rid of mental health ailments like depression.

Going for a walk in the woods or along a beach is a great way to see the bigger picture in life. Shutterstock.

Appreciate Nature

Another way to get the wheel rolling of your exercise effort is to admire the environment outside. It depends on the choice of the individual, whether they want to work out indoors or outdoors. Different people have different preferences. However, when it is about curing mental health problems or depression, it is suggested that one practice exercising outside. Hiking, cycling, trekking, rock climbing, or even going for morning walks with pets can be powerful remedies to prevent yourself from spending your day on the couch. You can also get yourself an enthusiastic partner to work out with you.

Blood flow is essential for the organs and to keep away certain conditions. Shutterstock.

Keep Blood Circulated and Your Body Active

Exercises keep your body and mind both active. The saying goes that a body in motion stays in motion — and that goes for any age or gender. Anything to function appropriately requires activation, and exercise significantly helps out with that. Also, proper blood circulation can help with getting rid of mentally low feelings. Doctors always recommend outdoor trips, workout sessions, or jogging sessions for patients suffering from depression.

Anxiety has been shown actually to decrease the natural functions of the organs. Shutterstock.

Get Rid of Anxiety

Anxiety is one of the critical triggers of depression that can get to extreme levels when not appropriately checked on time. Getting two minutes of jogging or doing freehand sessions for a while are natural and powerful ways of calming down your inner irritation more than you can realize. It significantly calms your level of anxiety which makes you the owner of your feelings, which eventually leads to emotional stability as well.

Practice meditation at the beginning and end of your days so that you have a clear and peaceful mind. Shutterstock.

Remove Cognitive Barriers

Depression is often raised from cognitive obstacles. The mental ailment itself is vast, and it is hard to remove the barriers when it comes to cognitive clarity or mental clarity. A patient suffering from the same often experiences challenges in thinking, processing information, concentrating, listening, or even communicating confidently. Obstacles in cognitive clarity or skills can invite higher mental health risks at a later age.

Some of those mental health ailments might include Alzheimer’s, senile psychosis, presenile dementia, and many more. Depression at a higher stage can bring about mental health issues that can impose a lifelong imprint on the daily functionalities of the brain. Exercise, in that case, is considered the number one remedy to enhance cognitive power in the mind.

Don’t stay up checking all of your social media; put it all away and go to bed for more restful sleep. Shutterstock.

Relax Your Body to Prep for Sleep

Know the feeling of returning home after a long busy day and completing your gym session? Well, attaining a physical exercise session regularly is kind of close to that. You will never know how the time shall fly and also feel better at the same time for being productive about it. Rather than relying on a sleeping pill, that pushed you to gain a certain amount of weight or makes you feel drowsy and lethargic in the morning giving a lucid dreaming sleeping session; it is always wise to get indulged with a healthy workout routine. Working out or even warming up at least six to seven hours before bedtime peaks the body temperature to a certain level that may raise the energy levels.

As soon as the body temperature falls, one tends to feel sleepy, and getting good quality sleep is no more challenging job. The body forces the mind to sleep irrespective of how disturbed the mind is at the time. It is one of the healthiest and most effective solutions if you are experiencing sleep issues.

Give yourself the time you need to recover from any stressful work. Shutterstock.

Focus on Yourself

This item is probably something you should have done a long time ago. However, it’s better late than never! When you unleash the power of self-love and self-care, your respect automatically raises that lowers the occurrence of depression-related mental health symptoms. Exercising is one of the most significant parts of self-care that always work on your mind’s favor to make it feel better. A survey shows that people who indulge in self-care for a certain amount of time in the first half of the day possess a comparatively higher sense of self-esteem.

Encourage yourself on a daily basis that you can do it, and that mistakes aren’t your fault. Shutterstock.

Boost Your Self-Esteem

Toning your body, attaining a healthy weight, and eating a proper diet are the best ways to boost self-esteem, really. Remember, even rolling the first wheels to get out of depression or anxiety and pushing yourself to work out takes a specific effort. For some, it takes a little energy while, for others, it is like moving mountains. No matter what category you fit in, you will be proud of yourself after completing your workouts. Looking at your reflection in the mirror won’t be so bad either.

It’s challenging to start a road to recovery when you don’t know where you should begin. Shutterstock.

How Can You Push Yourself to Work Out If You’re Already Depressed?

Now, this is a million-dollar question that most ask. Indeed, exercise can help in curing depression. However, one of the keys lies in making a patient suffering from depression realize that he/she is suffering from depression. Depression can make people gain weight, sleep more, act lethargic, and feel tired. They barely feel like waking and getting up, and exercising seems like a daunting task. It is easier said than done, and here are some of the remedies for you to take up when trying to work out during depression.

Clear your path by choosing goals you know you can make. Shutterstock.

Set Short and Realistic Goals

Setting short and realistic goals is one of the most critical steps to take while you are on your mission to work out during depression. It will help you be more focused, determined, and productive. You can start with just five to ten minutes of working out whichever half of the day suits you. Working out a little during the first half of the day, especially in the morning will help you remain active during the rest of the day, and doing the same during the night will help you sleep better.

Buying a membership is a great way to convince yourself to go because you don’t want to waste money. Shutterstock.

Join a Gym or Yoga Center

The next wise step in using exercise to help cure depression is to decide whether you are going to join a gym or work out at home. This idea shall help you stay dedicated to the practice, as you will have positive pressure and a sense of responsibility. Moreover, if you have invested money in it, you will be less hesitant to miss the sessions until you feel comfortable with it. Another reason why you will feel enthused is the company with whom you will practice.

Get quality equipment to work with so that you feel more motivated to work out. Shutterstock.

Invest in Nice Equipment

You may also look into some workout equipment. They do have a significant influence on your psyche and your will to exercise. Jumping rope, stationary bikes, colorful dumbbells, specially designed mats are some of the workout equipment that you can certainly explore. These were just a few of the options; you may explore many more that are widely available in the market. The best way to purchase them is online, where you can get a bunch and save plenty.

Speak to someone you trust and look up to help you through your struggles. Shutterstock.

Reach Out to a Mentor

If you are still finding it impossible to get up and start working out, you do not need to feel hopeless. It is all right to handle such issues with a professional be it a trainer or counselor. This step is quite possible if you are dealing with severe depression or any relevant mental health problem. In that case, you can consult a professional or a coach who will present you with some easy yet effective ways to slip back to your healthy and active life once again. There are plenty of facilities made available online that you can take advantage of.

Being wishy-washy won’t help you get anywhere; make a decision. Shutterstock.

Make Up Your Mind

The last but never the least step is to focus on making up your mind. Yes, everything is in there. If you are not able to set your mind and push yourself towards it with a little trouble, none of the above techniques are going to work. So make sure that you make enough moves, lay enough effort and take enough time to set up your mind towards it. Your willpower is the primary driver to add fuel to the fire of working out.

Exercise won’t cure depression, but it will definitely help. Shutterstock.

Limited Remedies

However, all has been said and done; it is imperative to keep in mind that physical exercises might be useful for mental health disorders that are mild or triggered by everyday life pressure. Nevertheless, that is certainly not the remedy for severe psychotic disorders. Those categories of mental disorders should be triggered by proper mental health treatment therapies and medications prescribed by mental health professionals. Exercises and workouts can back mental health treatments. However, what kind of remedy would work for you is best to be specified by health professionals who are certified.

People of all ages, shapes, and genders are capable of having depression. Shutterstock.

Working Out Helps Mental Health

The idea of introducing physical health remedies is to make the treatment of mental health disorders more safe and natural as much as possible. A recent significant survey, along with medical research, shows that there has been a considerable rise in the use of mental health medications, especially antidepressants.

People dealing with severe depression all across the globe when asked about the ins and outs of the ailment made it clear in one touchy statement that had gone viral on social media. ‘Depression has no good reason to come and can suddenly appear one fine morning to anyone that gradually starts to feel worse than cancer.’ The use of antidepressants among the millennials is at its peak, which is creating a huge concern among medical experts globally. They are, thus, trying alternate remedies to cure depression, which include laughing therapies, mood-boosting diets, and the most popular one is physical health exercises. More than a million people today are believers in physical health exercises.