Physical Activity and Mood
Roughly 40 percent of Americans never exercise, 30 percent exercise sporadically, and only 12 percent engage in regular vigorous exercise. This means 88 percent of all Americans are not getting enough exercise! Humans are designed for regular physical activity. The sedentary nature of much of modern life most likely plays a significant role in the epidemic incidence of mood disorders today.
Exercise is better for your brain than any antidepressant. Exercise naturally erases effects of stress, balances all your neurotransmitters, increases brain-derived neurotrophic factor (which is like fertilizer for your brain), prevents dementia, and balances hormones like insulin. Many studies show that depressed patients who stick to a regular routine of aerobic exercise improve as much as those treated with medication. Just walking 30 minutes a day will accomplish this.
Many forms of exercise-aerobics, yoga, weights, walking, have been shown to benefit mood. For treatment of depression and anxiety disorders, activities of moderate intensity, such as brisk walking, are more successful than very vigorous activity. Exercise also improves cognitive performance, enhances memory, increases overall motivation and the ability to be fully engaged in life.
On Tuesday, July 12 at 12 p.m. Well-U joins the Strong Employee Assistance Program and Behavioral Health Partners for a presentation, “Physical Activity and Mood”, about how exercise improves mood and how to incorporate it into your busy daily routine. Enroll online.
Tracy Bussey |