Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Exercise Helps Depression

Melissa's Tip of the week is designed to help you and your family live happier, healthier lives.
View this email in your browser

Treating depression with exercise? You Bet!

Want to learn more about the benefits to your mental health that exercise provides?  Read on...

Many studies show that folks who exercise regularly get a positive boost in their overall sense of well being, and lower rates of depression.  Benefits like improved self esteem result from exercise, because your body releases chemicals called endorphins. These endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain that reduce your perception of pain. They also trigger a positive feeling in the body, similar to that of morphine. As an example, after a run or workout, the feeling people describe is "euphoric." That feeling, known as a "runner's high," makes you feel good long after the workout or run.

When you stimulate your endorphins through exercise, they act as analgesics, which means they diminish the perception of pain, and as sedatives, aiding sleep.  They are manufactured in your brain, spinal cord, and many other parts of your body and are released in response to brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. The neuron receptors endorphins bind to are the same ones that bind some pain medicines. Unlike many medications, though, exercise typically isn't harmfully addictive (there are exceptions to this, of course, usually accompanying bulimia or anorexia).

Exercise in underused, yet very effective as an adjunct therapy for depression.  Any kind of exercise can stimulate the release of those "feel good" substances, so get moving!  


Happy Baby pose/Ananda Balasana seemed to fit my theme today of happiness!  This pose gently brings greater awareness to your joints, and opens up the lower back, as you shift your weight side to side, just like a baby would.  Lying on your back, reach for your feet (if you can't reach, no problem, just grab the closest bit--your ankles, your calves).  Then you can hold, or shift your weight side to side, 
Cooking spray
1 cup quick cooking rolled oats
1/2 cup raw unsalted sunflower seeds
1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
1/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup dried apricots
1/2 cup raw almonds
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup pitted dried dates
1/2 cup powdered nonfat dry milk
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
2 large eggs
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Coat a 9 by 13-inch baking pan with
cooking spray.

Place all ingredients except the
syrup and eggs in a food processor
and pulse until the mixture is finely
chopped. Add the syrup and eggs
and pulse until the mixture is well
combined. It will resemble a coarse paste.

Transfer to the baking pan and
spread evenly. Bake until just done,
about 20 minutes. Cut into 20 squares.

Read more at:
Above is a mini workout to make your week extra fun!  Here's the list of exercises:
crunches 25
squats 25
side plank 1 at 15 seconds per side
bear crawl 25
push ups, 25
jumping jacks, 25
plank, 1 at 30 seconds
mountain climbers, 25
REPEAT twice more

No comments:

Post a Comment