Individuals who exercise (specifically aerobic exercise) have 43.2% fewer poor mental health days than those who don’t exercise at all. When the mind and body are in sync, thanks to a more active lifestyle, they notice several distinctions in their mental health as well as their overall wellbeing.
So, what exactly does a more holistic approach to depression and anxiety via exercise do for the body as a whole? Continue reading to learn more about the correlation between mind and body for mental wellness.
How Does Depression Affect the Brain?
Depression makes it so that the brain cannot produce the chemicals in the brain that regulate moods and emotions. When serotonin and dopamine are not present, the brain has trouble working through the negative thoughts and the lack of energy.
The physical aspect of depression can actually affect the brain to the point where it causes shrinkage in grey matter volume. Grey matter is the area of the brain that houses a lot of the brain cells. When the grey matter volume decreases, it can cause problems such as:
- Memory problems and brain fog
- Lack of motivation and energy
- Senses of guilt and hopelessness
- Increased anxiety
Antidepressant medication can help to a certain extent. However, it may not completely alleviate all of the symptoms. At this point, some people may start looking for a more holistic approach to treating their depression.
Can Exercise Improve Mental Health Conditions?
The obvious benefits of exercise are the physical effects that it has on the body, including:
- Losing weight
- Gaining muscle
- Improving sex drive
- Reducing health risks
On the other end of the spectrum, there are many effects on mental wellness in general. People who exercise regularly tend to have fewer symptoms of depression.
Aerobic exercise, like biking, jogging, swimming, and playing tennis, gets the heart pumping and endorphins rushing through the body. Yoga and pilates are low-impact types of exercise that help to build strength and endurance while providing peace of mind. Exercising can help individuals with depression:
- Have more energy
- Become more resilient
- Get a good night’s sleep
- Improve their self-esteem
- Relieve stress
Depression makes it difficult to perform simple tasks like getting out of bed, let alone starting a new fitness regimen. All of these things become hindered when the depression sets in. Getting the blood flowing can help to alleviate symptoms of mental health from conditions like anxiety, stress, and PTSD.
Antidepressants Aren’t Improving Mental Health?
Taking care of mental health is essential to an individual’s overall health and wellness. If they’re noticing that their antidepressants aren’t completely improving their depression or anxiety, they might consider some holistic approaches to improve their health.
Feel free to contact TMS Global Network for more information at 502-742-8182. We’d be happy to answer any questions you may have about Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation and connect you with a Patient Intake Coordinator to complete the screening process.