HANDLING DEPRESSION WITH PHYSICAL EXERCISES

March 19, 2021
Dr. G. Balamurali

Depression Is A Demon

It’s a good thing that the world is more aware of this mental state of mind called “Depression”. A search on the internet comes up with at least 5 types of this deadly mental health problem. Characterized by a low mood, persistent feelings of sadness, loss, anger, etc, depression is snuffing out the lives of people at a faster pace than we all know.

However, the silver lining on this dark cloud is that this demon can be overthrown and conquered by something as simple as physical exercise. Antidepressants are often prescribed to people who need medication to handle depression. When these antidepressants aren’t as effective, it is time to resort to other means of help.

These non-medical strategies are so much better than popping pills and being under the control of medicines.

  • Meditation
  • Sleep hygiene
  • Resuming social connectivity
  • Enhanced nutritional food intake
  • Physical activity

Exercise Prescription: The Correct Dosage

Asking a clinically depressed person to take up exercising is not as easy as it sounds. Just knowing that exercising is key doesn’t really help. What one really needs is a sound “prescription” regarding the “dosage” of exercise. What to do, how to do, and how much to do are the guiding factors.

The exact dosage for depression-fighting exercises differs from what one does for general health. Here’s how the structured fitness regime differs for general fitness and for those with depression:

General fitness:

  • A minimum of 30 minutes of physical activity per day.
  • Minimum of physical activity 5 days a week.
  • Low to high-intensity cardio
  • HIIT or High-Intensity Interval Training Sessions
  • Strength training sessions

For depression:

  • 2 miles of walking per day to start off with.
  • Starting with 15 minutes per day and taking it up to a minimum of 30 minutes.
  • Walking, jogging, mild strength training, and meditation are the best exercises to kick start physical activity.
  • Exercises of mild intensity.

Commitment To Physical Activity

For those who are battling depression, recommending physical activity is easier said than done. That is why we recommend taking it in “little doses” until the body and mind become accustomed to its benefits.

Why is exercising a great option to beat depression?

Exercising not only releases sweat. It also releases this feel-good substance called Endorphin. A good workout session leaves one feeling euphoric, positive, confident, and boosts self-esteem. Depression can also cause other chronic illnesses like hypertension and diabetes. Exercising is the best way to keep these diseases at bay.

Tips to stay committed to being exercising:

  • Have a slow start and build up time and intensity as you progress.
  • Have a fitness buddy to whom you can be accountable.
  • Draw a schedule that will suit you and stick to it.
  • Track and document your exercise patterns.
  • Include outdoor activities like hiking, trekking, etc as a part of your workout schedule.

Want to have a talk with a good counselor who will put you on the right track to recovery? HAMSA Spine and Brain Rehab, the best physiotherapy center in Chennai, has the best counselors who will help you overcome such hurdles. Call them today @ +91-6379-133-621 Seek help now!

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DR. G. BALAMURALI
Internationally trained Spinal Neurosurgeon with 24 years of surgical experience, from UK. Extensively trained in all niche aspects of spinal surgery as part of 3-year fellowship in the UK (Liverpool & Nottingham), USA (San Francisco & Chicago) and Switzerland (Zurich). Senior Spine and Neurosurgeon in India since 2011.
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Dr. G. Balamurali is one of the leading spine surgeons in Chennai, India. He is internationally trained in all niche aspects of Spine Surgery. He has over 26 years of surgical experience in this field.
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