Monday, April 13, 2015

Walking and Depression

After hiking outside yesterday (it was a balmy 17c) it was back to the indoor track today as the rain is pouring down. 

If there is one thing that I can point to that lifts my spirits it's walking and/or cycling. It doesn't matter if I'm walking inside or outside once I get into a rhythm I start to feel small stirrings of happiness. Yes, it's only temporary but the benefits are real and eventually longer lasting. The following excerpt explains a bit about how exercise helps with depression...

(For the entire article go HERE)
A study published in 2005 found that walking fast for about 35 minutes a day five times a week or 60 minutes a day three times a week had a significant influence on mild to moderate depression symptoms. Walking fast for only 15 minutes a day five times a week or doing stretching exercises three times a week did not help as much. (These exercise lengths were calculated for someone who weighs about 150 pounds. If you weigh more, longer exercise times apply, while the opposite is true if you weigh less than 150 pounds.)
How does exercise relieve depression? For many years, experts have known that exercise enhances the action of endorphins, chemicals that circulate throughout the body. Endorphins improve natural immunity and reduce the perception of pain. They may also serve to improve mood. Another theory is that exercise stimulates the neurotransmitter norepinephrine, which may directly improve mood.
Besides lifting your mood, regular exercise offers other health benefits, such as lowering blood pressure, protecting against heart disease and cancer, and boosting self-esteem. How often or intensely you need to exercise to alleviate depression is not clear, but for general health, experts advise getting half an hour to an hour of moderate exercise, such as brisk walking, on all or most days of the week.

I read on one woman's blog about how hard it was for her to be motivated enough to walk. She put her workout clothes on the floor by her bed so they would be the first things she'd see in the morning. It helped! We all know how easy it is to make excuses or to "forget". Sometimes just getting out of bed in the morning is all we can manage. TRY to make the effort to walk, better yet walk with a friend if you can. Motivate each other.

Have a laugh on me!

1 comment:

  1. Love it--Next week I think I will start