How to Fight Depression (Without the Pills)


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How to Fight Depression (Without the Pills)

Exercise is better than antidepressants.

● 1 in 10 Americans now takes antidepressant medication

But there are other ways to fight depression:
■ Regular exercise can improve mood in people with mild to moderate depression
■ Exercise can also help treat severe depression

Exercise vs Antidepressants Study:

3 groups:
● Aerobic exercise
● Antidepressant medication
● Aerobic Exercise + Antidepressant medication

● After 16 weeks 65% of people in all 3 groups no longer had major depression
● Exercise and antidepressant results were essentially the same

Follow up:
● Exercise’s effects lasted longer than those of antidepressants.

How does exercise relieve depression?

Exercise enhances the action of endorphins
■ Endorphins improve natural immunity
■ Reduce the perception of pain.
■ They may also serve to improve mood
○ Another theory is that exercise stimulates the neurotransmitter norepinephrine
■ This may directly improve mood

Besides lifting your mood exercise:
■ Lowers blood pressure
■ Protects against heart disease and cancer
■ Boosts self esteem

What exercises are the best for fighting depression?

Get runners high
■ When it comes to fighting depression, aerobic exercises have the edge
● 20-30 minutes most days a week
○ (Intensity level doesn’t matter, just get moving!)
■ When you cross a threshold while running, you get “runners high”
● A release of endorphins
○ Endorphins are the body’s natural morphine
○ Produce joy and decrease pain levels
○ Boost strength to boost your mood
■ Study of 45 stroke survivors with depression found that a 10-week strength training program helped reduced symptoms of depression

Benefits of strength training:
● Mastery and control
● Visible results
● Focus
○ Inhale, Exhale

● Improves flexibility
● Involves mindfulness
○ (Which breaks up repetitive negative thoughts)
● Improves balance
● Is meditative

■ Study of 65 women with depression
● 34 women who took a yoga class twice a week for two months showed a significant decrease in depression
○ Compared to the 31 women who were not in the class

Take a hike
■ Simply walking his numerous benefits
● In one study, walking fast for about 35 minutes a day five times has a significant influence on mild to moderate depression symptoms
● Just getting outside can boost mood
○ Sunshine stimulates our serotonin levels
○ Many researchers believe that an imbalance in serotonin levels may influence mood in a way that leads to depression.

■ Benefits of walking include:
● Lowers disease risk
● Strengthening heart
● Gives you energy



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