When you talk about depression and health, you’re talking about a combination that normally are found together. When you are ill, sometimes the first symptom is a feeling of depression. In fact, some chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, kidney disease, lupus, HIV/AIDS, MS and hypothyroidism can cause depression, which is why you should always get a physical if depression is long standing or particularly severe. Depression can also lead to some of those same diseases or aggravate it and make it worse.
Depression is more than just feeling sad for a reason.
The loss of a loved one, loss of a job and even moving can make you feel depressed, but it’s not the same as depression. It’s natural to feel sad when you encounter a loss in life, but even that type of depression can lead to a weakened immune system. How many times have you heard of an elderly person losing a spouse, only to die themselves within six months? It’s not coincidental that it happens. Depression causes stress and stress triggers the release of hormones such as cortisol, which affect the immune system and other parts of the body.
Fight depression with exercise.
One study gave a group of depressed individuals a proven anti-depressive medication and the other group a placebo, but included exercise into the study. The improvement on each group was identical, with the group exercising’s only side effect being weight loss and improved health. Another study conducted in 2005 at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, noted that just 30 minutes five days a week for 12 weeks, reduced depression symptoms by almost half.
Depression limits the brain’s adaptability and limits neurotransmitters in the brain.
Depression locks the brain into a loop of negativity. Exercise tells to brain to boost the efficiency of neurotransmitters by boosting the BDNF— brain-developed neurotrophic factor—which helps the neurotransmitters function better. It also builds new neuropathways and improves brain plasticity, which means it helps brain cells grow.
– Healthy eating can also help reverse the effects of depression. Omega3 fatty acids from fish or nuts, Vitamin B complex from leafy greens and eggs, Vitamin D and tryptophen from dairy and other sources and selenium from Brazil nuts and walnuts help. Cashews and cashew butter also helps.
– Exercise and healthy eating can also prevent weight gain that often accompanies depression and leads to further depression. It can also help with weight loss, which boosts self-image and helps decrease depression.
– Exercise stimulates the creation of dopamine and other hormones in the brain that make you feel good right after working out for a boost, even though it’s not permanent.
– Getting adequate sleep helps reduce depression. Unfortunately, depressed people often have insomnia. Exercising can help you sleep better.