Countless studies and experiments show that exercise is one of the most effective ways of promoting good mental health. Regular exercise can effectively alleviate symptoms of depression, anxiety and more. It promotes better memory, relieves stress, boosts overall mood and helps to get that good night sleep. It doesn’t have to be a rigorous training spent on the gym, a simple modest exercise can really make an impact on mental health. Exercise is an all-powerful move for most mental health illnesses.
It reduces the risk of developing serious illnesses like heart and lung disease, high blood pressure, obesity, cancer, dementia, diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. People who suffered from a stroke can benefit well from exercise.
Positive Benefits of Exercise
Aside from losing weight and promoting better sleep patterns, most people do exercise because it motivates them to ‘get-going’ and has a sense of well-being. Having a target routine each day makes it easier to get up from the bed and stay active. Getting the body moving is one of the most natural remedies to beat depression and in keeping the mind healthy.
One of the most common mental benefits of exercise is to relieve stress. Sweating during workouts can help manage physical and mental stress. Exercise triggers large concentrations of norepinephrine, a chemical that assists the brain to fight mental stress. Working out can also boost the body’s immune system while dealing with existing mental tension.
Generates Happy Chemicals
Laboring on the treadmill can be a tough business but it’s worth the trouble. When doing any kind of exercise whether vigorous or moderate, it releases chemical called endorphins. This chemical is responsible for creating feelings of happiness and euphoria. Several studies show that exercise can greatly alleviate depressive symptoms of the clinically depressed people. Doctors commonly recommend to patients with depression or anxiety to hit the gym at any given time. For this reason, exercise is proven to be as effective as antidepressant pills prescribed in treating depression.
It Improves Self-Confidence
Even an amateur hitting the gym for the first time will feel a million bucks upon hopping on a treadmill. Being in the gym and making that first step towards change can boost self-confidence on a different level. It implies positive self-image regardless of weight, gender, or age. Exercise creates another view of perception towards self-worth and attractiveness. In a way, this promotes positive thinking which generates good mental health up a notch.
Enjoy the Great Fun Outdoors
Who says exercising is limited on a gym time? A simple walk or an afternoon stroll in the great outdoors or even in a park can greatly alleviate good mood. The vitamin D from the D can decrease depressive symptoms. There is a lot to choose from like hiking, biking, boating, kayaking, rock-climbing and more – the options are boundless. A single round of jog around the park while enjoying a scenic view can greatly increase self-worth.
Prevents Common Brain Illnesses
As time goes by, the brain gets a little bit cloudy. Aging makes the brain lose important neuro-connections. As a result, the people can become sluggish and lose many vital brain functions. Poor brain function often leads to degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s which kill off brain cells. However, exercising cannot cure such diseases but it can surely put them at bay for several more years. Working out at in early years of life can prevent degeneration of the brain particularly in the hippocampus. It’s an area in the brain responsible for memory and learning.
It’s a common knowledge that hitting the gym even for a moderate workout can tire you out. Not in a sense of breaking point but just enough to promote relaxation needed for a good night sleep. For many, exercising is better than a sleeping pill, even for those who suffer from insomnia. Getting the body active for about 5 to 6 hours before bedtime raises the core temperature of the body. After that the body drops back to its normal temp, signaling the body to sleep.
While exercise offers a chance to lift your mood, it’s not going to be effective every time for every person, especially in cases of chronic mental illness. Get effective help treating your mental illness without having to pump yourself full of drugs. Contact Us today to learn about Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation and how it can make mental illness much more manageable.
It’s perfectly normal to feel anxious, especially during times of stress or tension, such as the brief moment when your boss contemplates just after you asked for a raise. Anxiety is our brain’s way of preparing itself for danger. Not exactly to combat it, but to ensure that if we ever fight, or flee, our body is ready to act as best as it can.
When a person starts to feel anxiety outside where they should, problems start to arise. When anxiety occurs outside normal circumstances, and happens for days, over a course of more than 6 months, it’s classified as a disorder. The medical disorder is known as Generalized Anxiety Disorder, GAD for short.
It’s generalized because it has a number of causes, some of them unique to the person. It causes restlessness, fatigue, irritability, sleeping issues, and concentration problems, all of which make a significant dent in a person’s quality of life. What’s worse is that GAD is often accompanied, or causes other mental complications like depression.
Treatment via drug therapy is the most common solution, with counseling or Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy being the go-to for long-term treatment and recession prevention.
One downside to the otherwise effective ways to treat GAD is the high costs and the possible adverse effects due to the medication. If a person has good health insurance, that can be mitigated somehow, but not everyone has it.
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation: A New Hope
As the procedure is called, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS for short) is a relatively novel way to treat anxiety disorders. TMS was already in use decades ago in order to map out brain function in stroke patients. They figured that since our brain cells respond to weak pulses of electromagnetism, it could be used to stimulate brain cells to restore their function.
The idea is simple. An electromagnet is placed on top of your head and a machine regulates the electricity flowing to the magnet, creating minute pulses of electromagnetism. The targeted area of the brain is affected by the waves and they activate or at least react to the stimulation. Like physical therapy on a newly recovered leg or arm, the procedure will “train” and “massage” the target area of the brain to work back to normal. These procedures normally last about an hour and are done daily for 4-6 weeks.
The magnetic pulses are set to a low frequency of 1 Hz. Think of this as music. Lower Hz is slow, calm music while higher ones are the intense, fast beats. The low “hum” causes an inhibitory effect on the brain, calming activity as if listening to calming soul music. The pulsing is then aimed at the area of the brain where the cause of GAD is identified, such as the left prefrontal cortex. (The area above your left eye.)
The inhibitory effects showed remarkable results in reducing anxiety. Clinical trials with different experiments show consistent positive results, especially with continued TMS therapy. Currently, the only way to get TMS treatment for GAD is participating in clinical trials, but with solid evidence of improvement on patients, it’s only a matter of time before it’s approved as a treatment method.