Depressive symptoms such as difficulty sleeping, consumption of alcohol, and increased stress, according to a study conducted in February 2021.
To fight this behemoth of a problem, medical professionals utilized advancements in our technology and medicine to treat people who are clinically diagnosed with depression. However, some of these treatments are too expensive for some families.
A typical psychotherapy session would cost you $100 per hour. Medication might seem steep for some families as a 30-day supply of medicinal drugs to treat depression might cost $200-$1200, according to data from an article from Healthline; this is why most would prefer to take certain precautions to prevent the development of depression rather than to treat it.
There are a lot of initiatives one can take to prevent the onset of depression without any medication. These can include sleeping eight hours a day, talking to friends and relatives, having a good mindset, taking supplements and vitamins, eating healthy, and exercising. The latter being our topic for this piece.
Countless studies have shown the effectiveness of exercise in preventing depression from developing in individuals. A recent study from a researcher from Harvard found that individuals who ran 15 minutes a day reduced the risk of depression by 26%.
Another research found that exercise improves one's mental health by enhancing and stabilizing our mood and enhancing our self-esteem.
And lastly, a published article from Walden University states that not only does exercise help improve our stamina, muscles, but it also reduces weight and cholesterol levels.
Exercising can also reduce stress and anxiety, improve sleep, boost cognitive function, and improve self-confidence.
No matter what exercise you're doing, your mental health is more likely to be stable as long as you are moving than those who don't—benefits such as providing a positive result on our mood and improve our overall positivity.
In this piece, we will go over several physical activities to fight against depression.
1. AEROBIC EXERCISES
Aerobic exercises are physical activities aimed at improving your cardiovascular condition. Participating in aerobic exercises can help maintain an individual's weight in check, control blood sugar levels, and help lower blood pressure based on the findings of one study.
Not only does aerobic exercise provide physical health benefits, but they also have a good impact on our mental health. One study claims that aerobic exercises help slow down the deterioration of the hippocampus, which is the part in our brain responsible for or memory.
It could help prevent the onset of dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Another study finds that being active can help boost our memory, help us perform better on cognitive-related activities, and better overall well-being.
Examples of aerobic exercises include swimming, walking/jogging, cycling, jumping rope, and many others.
2. STRENGTH EXERCISES
Strength training, often known as resistance training, is doing physical activities to increase endurance and strength. Strength training exercises help improve one's bone strength, muscle strength and helps make one become fitter and healthy overall.
One study found that resistance training also helped reduce depressive symptoms among adults. Another found that strength training helped relieve subjects from stress, improved their sleeping habits, enhance their self-esteem, and resulted in an overall better mental health condition.
Lastly, an article published on the Campus Living Villages states that strength training releases endorphins in our body, which results in us being happier, or in a better state of mind.
Examples of strength training exercises include Push-ups, curl-ups, lifting weights, hill walking, cycling, and many others.
3. STRETCHING EXERCISES
Stretching is a kind of physical activity in which one stretches a muscle or tendon to enhance the muscle's perceived flexibility and create a relaxed muscular tone. Stretching helps improve one's range of motion, reduces the risk of physical injuries, and improves one's posture.
Stretching also relieves an individual's stress, and just like other physical activities, the body also releases endorphins when we stretch, which makes us happy and have a more stable mood.
Some examples of stretching exercises include Cobra stretch, overhead triceps stretch, head-to-knee forward bend, hamstring stretch, and many more.
Proper execution and proper form are all needed to make the most out of your exercise program, with coaches and the appropriate equipment available in gyms and training facilities. However, due to the current pandemic, most gyms are closed until further notice.
But if there's a will, there's a way.
You can find tons of YouTube videos regarding physical exercise and its proper execution. You can also sign up with cheap exercise programs on the internet, or you can find some apps on the Google Play Store, such as the Lose Weight app, to create an automatic schedule for your workout plan.
Exercising will not magically cure one's mental health issues nor prevent them. However, if partnered with a proper diet, taking mental health supplements, and surrounding yourself with a sound support system, it could, and it will.