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Science Says Moderate Exercise Can Prevent Depression

Science Says Moderate Exercise Can Prevent Depression

Depression is an illness that affects the mind and body. It is not your ordinary feeling of sadness or emptiness. At its worst, depression has the power to destroy you while playing with your thoughts and emotions.

When you’re in a depressed state, everything just feels “wrong”. From the moment you wake up to the time you go to sleep. You see the world in a darker shade – where rainbows don’t exist and bright days seem to pass by quickly.

If you have a loved one suffering from depression, it can be just as emotionally painful to see them destroy themselves each day. And if you could just transfer your energy and your happiness to them, you would do so in a heartbeat.

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Working Out for Good Mental Health

study on the effects of moderate physical activity has been found to combat the damaging effects of depression. The research conducted at the University of Toronto found that moderate exercise has long-term effects on preventing and curing depression.

Inspired by mental health experts who are worried about costly prescription medications and its side effects, the study was focused on the preventive ability of exercise to fend off depression.

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Aside from muscle size, abs, and a healthy heart – exercise proves to have positive effects on one’s mental health. Part of the symptoms of depression is fatigue and mental exhaustion. This causes the person to feel tired even after a good night’s sleep. A depressed person will also likely to stay at home and avoid any activity that will require their energy. With proper guidance, continuous support and care, it isn’t possible to get them to like exercise and help them cultivate a healthier and more active lifestyle.

Moderate Exercise for Treating Anxiety

Anxiety and depression are two different conditions which on many occasions can occur together on an individual. One of the causes of anxiety is tension and stress. It is a normal response to stressful situations. Exercises help relieve these feelings of tension and pressure, by giving you a healthy release of endorphins.

Physical activity helps you shift your focus on your body. It gives you temporary mindfulness as you run, feel the wind in your hair, your aching legs and your breath. Experts believe that any activity that releases stress helps you avoid worries and matters of the mind.

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Moderate Exercise for Boosting the Brain

Depression can shut down the brain’s ability to adapt to new situations.  It limits the production of essential brain chemicals such as dopamine and serotonin that foster brain cell communication.

This is the reason why depressed people seem to make poor life choices. They also withdraw themselves from any kind of new social interaction or activity, because they don’t know how to adapt to these changes.

Exercise counters this by boosting the production of a protein called BDNF that helps neurotransmitters from functioning effectively. BDNF also stimulates growth and creation of brain cells which helps improve memory.

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Exercise Fights Fatigue and Gives You Energy

When you’re feeling sluggish, and tired – all you want to do is lie on the couch and hide under the covers all day. But experts say the common fatigue we often experience is not caused by simple exhaustion, but our bodies’ resistance to sedentary activities.

It’s your body’s way of telling you that you need to go out and get moving. When you start moving, your body will want to move more, and the more you move, the more energy you’ll have.  More running and moving can help increase your heart rate and energy.

Just like how food gives you energy. Exercise gives you your body’s needed energy boost to help you last throughout the day. Now you can work for 8 hours without feeling fatigued, digest dietary fats better, and have a more productive work day.

Exercise as a Coping Technique

Exercise is a great way to help you cope with challenges in life. Instead of resorting to bad vices like drugs, alcohol and activities that have damaging effects on your body, exercise helps you feel good about yourself. It also fosters self-love and the feeling that you’re doing something good for your body.

Exercise has many wondrous effects on our body.  In fact, many of the illnesses and conditions we have today can be prevented and improved through physical activity. The best thing about exercise is anyone can do it – your age, ethnicity, or size don’t matter at all. This means we can all take small steps to become happy and healthy.

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Armela Escalona

Freelance Writer

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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