Stress, Depression and Exercise

The link between stress, exercise, and better mental health has always been appreciated by fitness enthusiasts. Now, a study published in Psychosomatic Medicine, a journal of the psychiatric community, has found that exercise worked as well as antidepressant drugs in cases of what is considered serious depression.

Exercise is recognized to aid in mental health by not only fitness enthusiasts, but by medical researchers. In fact, it is so powerful on brain function that a report on Science Daily, Research News states that "Regular exercise can play an important a role in improving the physical and mental wellbeing of individuals with schizophrenia, according to a review published in The Cochrane Library."

In the holistic world, depression is treated as a symptom – not as the disease itself. Holistic practitioners and holistic-minded doctors will look “behind the scenes” to see what is causing the depression. It is consistently found that very real and physical substances such as food allergies, toxic metals like mercury and poor nutrition all contribute to depression.

Stress and Anxiety Treatment


Both, Western doctors and holistic practitioners understand that brain biochemistry is a significant factor in depression. For example, serotonin is a brain chemical that is a necessary regulator of sleep, appetite and moods.

Stress, Depression and exercise are an important combination. Exercise and an increase in physical fitness result in improved serotonin levels which in turn lead to improved mood and feelings of well-being. In turn, stress and depression levels are reduced.

In the modern world, many people find themselves in stressful situations on a daily basis. This causes our bodies to go in over-time and constantly create adrenaline since stress causes the fight-or-flight instinct to go off in us. Excess adrenaline will cause the brain to feel overwhelmed and not focus.

Exercise can help the body to burn stress chemicals and therefore will help the mind relax easier. Some exercise, such as rebounding , which can even help stimulate the endocrine system, stimulate circulation and bring in more oxygen to all parts of the body creating and aerobic exercise while helping you cleanse.

Another cause contributing to depression is the feeling of being overwhelmed and out of control due to the amount of responsibilities of today’s society. These responsibilities affect most of us from financial pressures to career pressures.

Exercise builds confidence, which will translate into every day life situations. It will help a person feel more in control and boost self esteem. Exercise helps people to take an active role in recovery – another boost to self-esteem and feelings of being in control. (Read an excerpt from the Townsend letter for doctors about the impact of aerobic exercise on mentality of illness.)

Those who exercise may find it easier to consume the nutrition needed for the body to function properly. The food you eat will determine if your body produces dopamine and serotonin, which is needed for proper brain function or if you will lack these essential neurotransmitters.

The food you eat can interfere with brain function by contributing harmful chemicals such as aspartame, mercury or monosodium glutamate. As for the argument that these chemicals are in such a minute amount that they don’t interfere, don’t let them fool you. The brain chemicals and the amount of electricity in your body are also minute, but absolutely necessary for life.

Depression and exercise are a combination that needs to be addressed more by those in the medical community. Include nutrition and you just might have a well-rounded approach to truly help those afflicted with depression.

This all leads to my last comment about stress, depression, exercise and chemicals. I am not a doctor and would never pretend or claim to be. I fully believe that we are all responsible for our health.

With that being said, from what I have researched, seen first hand and what I have experienced, a body cleanse or colon cleanse (really the same thing) can help your body eliminate buildup of harmful chemicals and toxins that contribute to poor mental health. A cleanse will also help clear the way for your body to more readily absorb the nutrients needed for proper brain function and overall health. And there are other options available for anyone to get to the core of their mental health. (Check out Safe Harbor , a world-wide network of doctors and practitioners to assist with non-pharma alternative mental health.)

Back to Stress Relief

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