Weekly musings, 4/30/17
In the book, “The Power of Different,” Gail Saltz* discusses the power of exercise on depression. “What is perhaps most fascinating is that not only can exercise be as effective as antidepressant medication, but its effects are longer lasting,” she writes.
Perhaps more important than the physical benefits of getting stronger and feeling more capable, are the benefits of exercise on mood. Exercise increases self-esteem and cardiovascular exercise in particular releases neurotransmitters associated with mood regulation.
If you only focus on the physical aspects of exercise, you are missing what could arguably be considered the most powerful reason to get moving. Stabilizing your mood positively impacts not just you, but the people around you. Depression afflicts 6.7% of Americans in a given year, and anxiety affects 18% of adults annually.** A regular exercise routine can be extremely beneficial and should be part of a multi-faceted approach for individuals struggling with mood disorders.
*”The Power of Different” is a great survey of mood disorders. There were three sections where I found myself thinking, “I can relate to that.” This is sort of like reading a medical textbook and self diagnosing yourself with every disease you read about.
**Data can be found here: https://www.adaa.org/about-adaa/press-room/facts-statistics
***There are still spots available in the nature and movement retreat, June 2-4 in Napa Valley. To register: http://www.bewellpt.com/events/2016/9/11/mind-body-nature-a-two-day-movement-retreat