I heard on the news recently that Americans are taking more anti-depressants than ever before and more than any other country. This was disturbing to me. I’m sure that they have benefits and can help people through difficult times and I’m certainly not against the use of them when it’s medically warrentented.
I do however think that we’re probably a little too quick to reach for and be given a pill. We try to mask the symptoms instead of addressing the problem. Why don’t we try a more natural approach? Exercise has long taught us the many benefits to maintaining not only a healthy body, but a healthy mind. One really does help the other. It’s all part of the balance.
Have you ever come home from a really rough day and heading to the gym was farthest from the last thing on your ‘to do’ list? Your mental state of mind was just so worn that your body responded accordingly to support your feelings of exhaustion regardless of your physical activities for that day? What did you do? Did you go to the gym or sit and watch TV on the couch?
That choice makes a huge difference in our well-being. If you were in the group that decided to go to the gym (or run or bike or walk), how did you feel when you were done? Exhilarated, right? OK, maybe that’s a strong word but you felt better I’m sure. You got the blood flowing, worked the muscles, took in some more oxygen and in turn your mind responded to the same stimulus that you gave your body.
Science supports this too. Exercise has proven to raise our levels of Serotonin which is a chemical that serves to elevate our mood and help us get quality shut eye. There are millions of scientific facts that support other ways that exercise helps to battle depression.
The weather has been cooperating with us recently. How about going for a run? Or a walk? Or a bike ride with the kids?