Depression: Walking it Off

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor nor do I claim to be one. If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, are injured, or are feeling thoughts of depression, anxiety, or anything else, please contact a medical professional IMMEDIATELY!

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

Depression

Depression as a primary disorder is a common ailment that is probably getting far less attention than it deserves when viewed against its propensity to weaken our general wellbeing. This may not be far from the private nature of the ailment that decimates the soul without stirring any confusion or unease beyond friends and relatives who are close to the sufferer. And sadly the risk appreciates with age, which means at the time the physical being is waning, the mind accompanies it, an unsettling reality for those still bubbling with the steam of youth. The huge cost to the health care system is considerable, which has made it mandatory for most authorities to emphasize preventive measures. Fortunately a simple lifestyle measure has consistently been noted to minimize the risk of subsequent depression, though not without dissenting voices who will continue to claim that walking it off has a meager effect on depression. It is wonderful that exercise, a regular walk, 20 to 30 minutes, three times a week and some gym time at least three times a week, gives you the opportunity to walk off depression.

If physical activity reduces the risk for depression, one may be tempted to assume that the more the better. Not precisely. When we stress the body physically, beta Endorphin and other similar substances (Endogenous Opioid Peptides) as well as Endocannabinoids that are similar in action to the common recreational drug of abuse (mind-altering drugs) like Morphine, Heroine and Cannabis (Marijuana), are released which reduces pain and produces a euphoric sensation that stimulates a happy, positive emotion. Apart from the release of these powerful substances, another relevant observation is the fact that exercise also decreases activity in the nervous tissues located in the part of the brain that controls emotion and cognition. While one would have expected otherwise, the benefit of physical activity appears to taper off as the level of strain increases. As activity mounts, the body’s capacity to provide sufficient Oxygen to metabolize the caloric substrate necessary to fuel the heightened demand for energy becomes overwhelmed. Metabolism in the presence of insufficient Oxygen (Anaerobic respiration) generates lactic acid which ultimately impairs the proper functioning of biological processes. It is therefore expected that too vigorous and intense exercise could be associated with displeasure, depending on the individual’s capacity to adapt.

Is there a particular degree of physical activity that works? The individual variation in the capacity to cope with activity makes this unlikely, but in a general sense, less is more when it comes to the interplay between exercise and depression. For most people, daily small aliquot of physical stress is all the help the relevant centers in brain needs. Studies have shown that LEISURE TIME activity like taking a walk to work, a regular evening stroll and domestic activities that are not moderating tasking maybe more likely than more vigorous activities to reduce depression. It means that everyone can exploit the essence of this scientific observation because we can all take a walk or hold hands and walk away from the deadly icing of one’s affect that comes with depression. This observation, while important, also has a purely plausible explanation. The more physically tasking activity may lack enjoyment because of their ill effect on the normal physiology, which leads to the predominance of a more negative emotional response towards the activity. More importantly, leisure time physical activity as its pecks. It is often undertaken in a social environment that provides abundant mutual and social support from close ones, an activity that is bound to be enjoyed.

Anytime we take a walk or indulge in other forms of leisure time activity, we are sincerely making a bold statement that it is always safer to prevent the onset of an ailment than to explore the difficulties and uncertainties of medical care. Just take the walk.

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor nor do I claim to be one. If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, are injured, or are feeling thoughts of depression, anxiety, or anything else, please contact a medical professional IMMEDIATELY!

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

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