Thursday, January 30, 2014

Exercise helps defeat the blues of winter

Being able to get what you want out of life requires that you are able to be in the right frame of mind.

Exercise has long been identified as a natural 'high'. I found when I was recovering from my knee and hip operation that exercise helped and when I was able to get back to walking every day that I felt a great deal better. This is because doing some activity made a big difference to my mental health. Many clinical trials have demonstrated that being more active supplies particular benefits including bettered mood, cutting down symptoms of tension, anger, and depression, alleviating anxiety and cutting down cognitive decline.

The "high" that is described by many, is partly due to the release of endorphins if your body is active. These are hormones that give us a feeling of being happy. While the 'high' has traditionally been affiliated with running, walkers also have reported a 'high' after walking. A few suggest that this is increased with a walk of 60 minutes or more.

Sustaining fitness likewise has long-term advantages for mental health. Commonly, regular exercise cuts down one's risk of heart disease, type II diabetes and a few cancers. So physiologically speaking, the body is functioning better if it's fitter.

Exercise results in an increase of neutrophils and monoamines. Neutrophils are white cells that help the immune system and monoamines are neurotransmitters.  These are both connected to cutting down symptoms of depression and mental illnesses. The challenge in utilizing exercise or physical activity as a helper for mental health is that commonly compliance with being active is quite low, as 10-20% of individuals as a whole are regularly active.

One study demonstrated that taking upward of 12,500 steps daily over about 100-days, as measured by utilizing a pedometer, significantly bettered mental health. A different study demonstrated that individuals who participated in a walking program for about 100-days demonstrated substantial improvements in their 'Quality of Life'. These studies demonstrate that the duration of 'activity', whether it be structured or incidental may play a really significant role in bettering ones mental health.

So by becoming more active and even exercising and being fitter, you're not only helping your body but likewise your mind which helps your life overall.

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