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Exercise and mental health correlation

Monday, September 6, 2021

Many people find that they benefit from exercise during depression. This is no coincidence. In this article, I will talk about mental health, depression and mood disorders, and the importance of exercise in the prevention and treatment of depression.

Depression and mental health

Depression, one of the most important ailments of our age, is common in all age groups. It is of great importance to get expert help in combating this problem that significantly affects the quality of life of the person, not to be disconnected from social life, to exercise and share troubles with friends.

Deep sorrows, stress, boredom, living conditions, economic problems … This list can get longer. These types of problems that every person may encounter in their lifetime can cause mood problems when they become unmanageable. However, the state of sadness and grief that prevents daily activities, taking a long time and disrupting functionality can be a symptom of the development of depression. In order to be diagnosed with depression, some characteristics of the person should be questioned.

Depressed Mood: A depressed, sad, gloomy and distressed mood prevails in the person.

Indifference: You may lose interest in daily activities (such as reading, exercising, watching TV) that were previously done fondly.

Sleep disorders: In this case, tables such as inability to go to sleep, waking up frequently, waking up early in the morning or increased sleep can be observed. Depressed people tend to lie down even though they do not sleep, which is a remarkable feature in the persistence of the ailment.

Appetite problems: The person may lose weight. 5% of the average weight, at least 4-5 kg ​​without dieting in the last month. can be given. Some depressive people may also experience weight gain.

Difficulty concentrating: In case of depression, the person has distraction and concentration difficulties.

Fatigue: There is a decrease in physical energy.

Psychomotor restlessness or retardation: Depression causes an agitation state or a decrease in psychological functions.

Guilt-worthlessness thoughts: It is possible to feel guilty about the events experienced, as well as feeling worthless.

Life-threatening thoughts: Death thoughts, tendencies or attempts, in other words, predisposition to suicide may be seen.

In short, depression is a disorder in which individuals misinterpret many different emotions in which they feel unhappy, hopeless, anxious, worthless, angry, and guilty. It is necessary to get rid of this situation as soon as possible. Because the continuation of this situation will spoil your mental health.

Can we prevent depression with exercise?

Exercise alone is not a factor to be used to treat depression. But it is a fact that when done regularly, it gives people peace and increases the motivation for life. Especially people prone to depression have to keep their motivation for life high at all times. This is necessary to improve their quality of life. Exercising is a good way to increase motivation. Many studies show that it is possible to reduce the frequency / severity of depression with exercise.

In a study involving nearly 3000 women over a decade, the frequency of exercise and depressive symptoms was investigated. At the end of the research, it is seen that individuals who have been in more physical activity for ten years experience less depressive symptoms and therefore less depressed.

Depression treatment with exercise

First of all, depression is a serious illness and you may need expert help. Trying to treat depression with exercise alone can hurt you. The purpose of this article is to use exercise to help treat depression.

To give an example from the researches on the subject;

In a study conducted with around 150 middle-aged participants diagnosed with depression, the relationship between exercise in the treatment of depression was examined. In the study, which lasted for 4 months, the study group was divided into the group that only exercised, took only drugs, combined drug and exercise.

After treatment, depression diagnostic scale scores of all groups were close to each other, but the group that combined exercise and drug therapy had less severe depressive symptoms. This research shows that individuals with severe depressive disorder who combine exercise and drug therapy benefit more and have fewer complaints.

Another research;

A group of people diagnosed with mild depression is participating in the study. In the study, individuals are allowed to exercise for thirty minutes a day for ten days. At the end of this period, the scores of the participants in depression diagnosis scales before and after exercise are compared. The average score of the participants before the research decreases by 6%, so the severity of depression is getting weaker.

As a result, it is possible to reduce the severity of their depression and partially treat them by exercising only in a short period of ten days.

Exercise and mental health correlation

There are several different factors that exercise has a positive effect on your mental health, and I would like to mention them in turn.

Body temperature: Exercise increases body temperature. This situation indirectly increases the core temperature in your brain. With increasing temperature, your brain’s hormonal activity and balance changes.

Endorphin secretion: When you exercise, you release endorphins. This secretion makes you more positive and happy. This can help you get out of your depression in the long run. Also, another important point here is that endorphin secretion increases even after a single exercise session.

Focus: A parallel practice with the lifestyle change practice in the treatment of depression. It is aimed to get rid of the emotional state he is in by recommending actions that will affect the patient positively. Exercise that does this targeting spontaneously and naturally is effective in the treatment of depression.

How to exercise for mental health?

Although exercise is very important for mental health, there is no type of exercise that can be considered useless. For this reason, you should first choose the type of exercise you like.

First of all, aerobic exercises are ahead of anaerobic exercises in the treatment of depression, but both are more beneficial than other types of static exercise, especially. However, keeping the exercise intensity around 70% of the heart rate, which is another important factor, will increase the feeling of happiness. For exercise frequency, it is very important to exercise for 30 minutes a day, at least 4 days a week, to prevent and treat depression.

As a result, exercising reduces your risk of depression and helps you treat existing depression. The exercise you will do should be aerobic and anaerobic type, at least 4 days a week, 30 minutes a day and 70% intensity.

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