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Now that the whole world is in lockdown and can’t go to the gym, the owner Martin at Rapida – Trening i Bodø says “it is unsurprising that many find themselves depressed or actually fall into a full-blown depression.” However, there is a way to cope with negative feelings – exercise has been proven to fight depression. Here’s how:
- First off, when working out endorphins are released – the feel-good hormones that make you feel happy. That’s the reason why you hear about the “runner’s high” that so many jogging addicts report. Studies have found that 20 or 30 minutes of aerobic exercise is enough to kick off the production of these euphoric hormones. On top of this, mood-enhancing chemicals such as serotonin and dopamine are released during the workouts too, that can linger on in your brain for a couple of hours after you are done training. It should be noted, though, that the exercise effect is observed during high-intensity workouts, so a simple stretch won’t do.
- Second, aerobic exercise such as a HIIT session, increases the release of proteins, which generate nerve cells in the hippocampus, the region of the brain associated with emotions, and make new connections. Moreover, exercise impacts your brain both in the moment and long-term too so the benefits of physical training on your mental well-being are long-lasting, making you more emotionally stable over time.
- Third, exercise sends oxygen to your brain that helps cope with anxiety and depression. How does this work? When you work out, your heart rate goes up and your body pumps more oxygen to your brain, thereby positively affecting your overall mood: research has shown that the more oxygenated your brain is, the less likely you are to feel anxious or depressed.
- Last, but not least, physical training helps to take your mind off negative thoughts. Can you imagine worrying about your student debt when you have a 10-mile run to sweat through?
Overall, there is a consensus among the scientists that aerobic activity such as cycling and swimming seem to be the best for alleviating depression. Yet, it should be acknowledged that there are simply more studies done on aerobic activity, and thereby more gentle physical activities such as yoga and pilates may be neglected. Don’t despair just yet: there is promising research that shows yoga can have as positive an impact on your brain as aerobic exercise – there are just fewer studies done on the subject.
Last piece of advice – make sure to integrate workouts into your routine before nerve cell improvement begins to ease your depression symptoms. Also, give different workouts a try before settling on the one that you enjoy most – exercise shouldn’t feel like punishment, and ultimately, should leave you feeling good about yourself. How about blasting the biggest 80s hits and doing aerobics with Jane Fonda? I’ll guarantee you’ll feel upbeat straight away!
Disclaimer: if after exercising regularly you still observe depression symptoms that interfere with your daily life, consult your doctor. Physical training is excellent for alleviating depression, but it is no substitute for therapy or medications.
In this short article, we will have a look at how there’s been an increase in physical health treatments because of Covid-19. Who are the scapegoats? Home offices, and the exploration of new exercises.
In the beginning of the pandemic, the number of people receiving physical treatment went down by fifty-four percent, and the hours that physical therapists worked went down by roughly the same number. New surveys have shown that more and more people are now starting to go back to physical therapy. Some therapists are even having more clients than during normal times. They believe the reason for this is that people are putting in way too many hours from their home offices, sitting in non-ergonomic furniture like stiff chairs, couches, and yes, even beds.
Whereas many modern workplaces are equipped with ergonomic chairs and desks that can be adjusted up or down to suit different working positions, the more simple home furniture often don’t have the same features. When forced to sit in a too upright position on a stiff chair, for example, the lower back doesn’t have enough support to sit for eight hours, let alone two. In offices, chairs are usually a bit softer, and have a curvature which supports the lower back.
It might seem obvious that the kind of furniture we sit in can hurt our backs over the long term, and lead to more need of physical treatment. But it’s not as obvious that a new exercise regimen can lead to the same problem.
Exploring new exercises
Doctors and physical therapists are starting to see an increase in demand for a certain kind of treatment; the rehabilitation of exercise-induced injuries. This is caused by the many people who are now working from home, and who have taken on running, biking, or strength exercises. Few are aware that in order to perform the simple act of running in a healthy way, they have to learn how to do it.
For example, it’s important not to land completely on the heel, because this puts a major strain on the knee, hip, and back. This is because the heel is not designed to absorb a lot of force, in the same way that the achilles and calf muscle is. Landing only on about the anterior 60-70% of the foot, never completely on the heel, is imperative in order to prevent injuries over time.
It’s not just running that may cause harm to people if done incorrectly, however; any activity which is overdone can lead to muscle sprains. These are called overuse injuries. Whenever we do something too much, too soon, there is a high risk of getting hurt.
Now we have explored a couple of the reasons why there has been an increase in physical health treatments because of Covid-19. How is your back feeling? Or your neck? Or your knees? If you’re going to work from home for a while, please consider buying an ergonomic chair to sit in. And remember not to exercise too much too soon!
If you need a good physical therapist to help you with your physical problems, we can recommend Fysioterapi Stavanger (Only in Stavanger, Norway).
Most of us are aware of the necessity for regular physical exercise, but not many follow a regimen that could keep them fit. Knowing that workout is good for you will not help; understanding each activity and its benefits is the only way to encourage yourself for the sessions. It is important that you put in more time and effort to keep your body under constant pressure so that your immunity doesn’t debilitate with time. If you want to feel better, you must begin with the exercises that would lift your mood. Adding more years to your life is possible only by engaging in such activities. Everyone will benefit from exercise, regardless of the physical features or age. Some people are never convinced enough to get started with the physical workout. Here are some benefits of engaging in physical activities regularly.
1. Weight Control
This is undoubtedly the most important benefit of physical exercise. Excess weight can be prevented from developing on your body. Weight loss can also be maintained when you exercise regularly. Calories are burnt when you engage in physical activity, and the more intense these sessions are, the more weight you lose. Make sure to eat healthy meals every day so that the trips to the gym become beneficial in the right way.
People who can find no time to exercise can simply go for some random activity while on the road or in the office. Putting your body and muscles under pressure, at least for a short time, will help you stay away from some deadly diseases. Fifteen to twenty minutes of workout can also bring some difference; something is always better than nothing. Try taking the stairs to the office room or your apartment without relying on the elevator.
2. Fights Diseases and Other Health Conditions
If you are worried about heart diseases or diabetes, there is no better way to combat them than getting yourself to work out every day. Being active is imperative to keep the blood pressure low and to boost the high-density lipoprotein cholesterol.
Your risk of cardiovascular diseases would be reduced significantly with the daily exercises. Health problems like metabolic syndrome, arthritis, high blood pressure, stroke, depression, anxiety, and cancer can be prevented with regular exercise. Since cognitive function also improves with physical activity, the risk of death from several causes can be lowered.
3. Improves Your Mood
Nothing else can work wonders on your emotions like a few hours of workout can. When you need to lift your mood and let positivity take over your brain, brisk walking can be the solution.
Several brain chemicals would be stimulated during such activity to make you feel happier. You will also start feeling better about your appearance, thereby boosting your confidence.
4. Promotes Sleep
Many people struggle from the lack of sleep, and they keep searching for shortcuts to a slumber. Physical activity will put you to sleep faster. It will also deepen the sleep, but make sure you don’t exercise close to bedtime so that you aren’t too energized at that moment.