Weight Loss with HEALTHeME

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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Get up & get moving to ward off depression!

Fight depression.  Exercise!
You might think a highly developed nation, like the United States, would be filled with happy people. But, in one recent study, America was found to be the second most-depressed nation (just behind France), and a woman living in America is six-times more likely to be depressed than a man living in China! According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, 1 in 10 Americans suffer from depression.

These sad statistics may be partially explained by our nation’s sedentary behaviors! A recent study examined the behaviors of almost 50,000 women. Researchers found that women who exercise 90 minutes or more each day were 20% less likely to be diagnosed with depression than women who exercised 10 minutes or less per day. In addition, time spent watching television was found to increase the study participants’ risk for depression! Women who watched three or more hours of T.V. were 13% more likely to be diagnosed with depression.

Researchers were quick to point out that some of the participants may have been experiencing symptoms associated with depression, which may have led to them exercising less frequently. However, this study helps support the notions that exercise can boost your mood and time spent in front of the T.V. doesn’t do any favors for your body or your mental health.

Exercising more and spending less time in front of the T.V. may be especially significant in these shorter, darker fall days. Many people find they feel tired, unmotivated, and experience other symptoms of depression in the fall and winter, related to the decrease in exposure to sunlight. One of the recommendations for people who feel blue in the winter is to spend some time each day outdoors. You can combine efforts by exercising outdoors: taking a walk, doing yard work, biking, hiking, or going for a jog are great ways to get some sunshine and decrease your risk of depression.

If you feel any symptoms associated with depression, you should talk with your healthcare provider. And remember, following a more active, less sedentary lifestyle is an effective way to keep your body and your brain in tip-top shape.