Years ago I started writing a book about depression. I’ve yet to get up enough nerve to send it to a publisher.
While the idea of physical activity to treat depression is nothing new, it’s been more or less stated as ‘it’s a good thing to do”, but not as “it’s essential to do”. You know what I mean, those “good” ideas that nobody takes seriously.
The evidence is overwhelming and now being touted as not just a good idea but a concept that is life-saving. Before I give you the latest research, here’s what an excerpt:
Get up and move every hour or so. Mindless sitting (actually mindless anything), is a breeding ground for depression. Even on your job, keep moving if you can. The depressed mind (influenced greatly by the body) left unfocused for very long will eventually sink to its lowest common denominator.
When we move, a number of good things take place in our bodies. First of all, our blood circulation improves. We breathe better when we’re upright. When we’re physically active, those good hormones kick in and give us a mental boost. All research on depression encourages physical activity. We simply become more motivated once we’re moving. One thing leads to another and pretty soon we find our mood has lightened. Activity of any kind prompts further activity and we become distracted away from our depressed thinking and distraction is a wonderful thing.
The medical community has now discovered that something as innocent as sitting six hours a day can shave off seven years of a quality life. It raises blood sugar levels, cholesterol and decreases circulation and increases the possibility of heart disease by sixty-four percent.
A medical study from Australia suggests short breaks from sitting once an hour can alleviate most of the problems. While these studies didn’t target mental health, I don’t think it’s much of a leap to see how this very same activity can affect our low moods as well.
I just read an article recently that was frightening to say the least. The ongoing CPS II (Cancer Society’s Cancer Prevention Study II). This study shows a connection is emerging between cancer and a sedentary lifestyle. People who sit for great lengths of time and don’t exercise regularly face even greater risk of cancer. But here’s the part all women should pay attention to: the risk is a startling 94 percent higher for women as compared to men whose risk factor is 48 percent higher. (The entire article can be found in a Canadian publication called “Best Health” January,February 2016.)
I feel so validated. I knew I should’ve hung out my shingle.
For your overall health, why not just try this simple little step for a few days and see if you think it makes a difference. What could it possibly hurt?
God bless and have a good day.