Exercise: Good For Your Mind and Body
Deanna Lee Thacker - PCA-Intern
July 16, 2018
Exercise. I know I just said a dirty word but stick with me for a moment. Exercise is something that most American’s realize would be beneficial for their physical health but, yet, still find the motivation difficult. If you are like me, conceptually I want to exercise but instead commonly use the excuse that I am too busy. Work, school, children, family, and friends are all positive things in my life, but also serve as multiple barriers (in my head) to finding the time to do what I know would be beneficial to me, but what many people don’t realize is that exercise serves many more benefits than just improving physical health.
The plethora of data indicate various positive benefits from exercise that extends beyond physical health (Helpguide.org, 2018; Mayo Clinic, 2018; Mikkelsen et al., 2017). Aside from improving your body’s physical performance, exercise can decrease inflammation. Additionally, exercise has been shown to help improve psychological functions as well. Exercise improves anxiety, stress, and depression. It is astonishing the levels of impact that exercise can improve your life.
So, I ask: What is stopping many American’s from reaching their maximum potential of their physical and mental health? The answer is that for many, despite the gains we would receive from exercising, psychological forces make it difficult to start the exercise to better health journey. Depression is only one of the many commonly misunderstood concerns that have a way of impacting the happiest of people leading to the belief in the lie that exercise won’t help. Commonly, an individual whom lacks energy, a sign of depression, believes that finding the energy to exercise is impossible. However, “studies have found that even with medication, depression is best managed in conjunction with exercise (Helpguide.org, 2018).”
Do you ever feel empty or persistently sad? Do you have feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or have you lost interest in things you used to enjoy? Do you suffer from a lack of energy or feel fatigued? You are presenting with depressive symptoms and you are not alone. According to NIHM (2017) nearly 16.2 million Americans, majority female, suffer from depression and nearly 350 million people worldwide. The gauge for depression is determined by the duration and intensity of the symptoms and should only be assessed by a professional. Palmetto Counseling associates can help determine if you are depressed and help guide you to improving your symptoms. Please contact our office at (803) 254-9767 or go to our website at palmettocounseling.com to begin your journey towards having a healthier and fulfilled life.
Helpguide. (2018). Depression Treatment. Retrieved on June 26, 2018 from https://www.helpguide.org/articles/depression/depression-treatment.htm
Mayo Clinic. (1998-2018). Depression and anxiety: Exercise eases symptoms. Retrieved on June 26, 2018 from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depression/in-depth/depression-and-exercise/art-20046495
Mikkelsen, K., Stojanovska, L., Polenakovic, M., Bosevski, M., & Apostolopoulos, V. (2017). Exercise and mental health. Maturitas, 106, 48-56. doi:10.1016/j.maturitas.2017.09.003
National Institute of Mental Health (NIHM). (2017). Major depression. Retrieved on July 7, 2018 from https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/major-depression.shtml