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Physical Fitness and Depression

Physical Fitness and Depression

Summary: Alongside healthy eating patterns, regular exercise is the best way to keep your body fit and is a key factor in maintaining a healthy physique and can add years to your life. But apart from the physiological benefits, practicing a regular activity also has psychological advantages.

Regular exercise can be beneficial not only physically, but also mentally.

Alongside healthy eating patterns, regular exercise is the best way to keep your body fit and is a key factor in maintaining a healthy physique and can add years to your life. However, apart from the physiological benefits, practicing a regular activity also has psychological advantages. Many studies have shown that exercise and physical fitness greatly affect a person’s mood and mental health. A recent study was conducted at the University of North Texas, aiming at finding a link between young adolescents’ physical fitness and depression. It found that students who performed better on fitness tests exhibited fewer signs of depression than others did.

How does exercise improve your mood?

During exercise, the human body releases chemicals called endorphins. Endorphins reduce your perception of pain and leaves you feeling happy, positive, and energized.

In fact, working out is being prescribed as part of the treatment for clinical depression. Regular exercise can help you:

  • Sleep better;
  • Stay energetic;
  • Relieve stress and anxiety;
  • Increase self-confidence;
  • Slim down and strengthen muscles;
  • Keep your blood pressure under control;
  • Strengthen your heart.

What physical activities should you do?

If the thought of going to a gym scares you or bores you, do not worry – there are tons of other things you can do.

Here are a few questions you can ask yourself when deciding what physical activity to choose:

  • Which physical activities do I like?
  • Which activities do I not like? It helps if you eliminate the types of exercise you do not enjoy.
  • Do I prefer to exercise on my own or with a group?
  • How much time can I dedicate to exercising?

Once you have answered these questions, you can research the different kinds of activities that match your goals. The most important thing is that you do not force yourself to exercise. Choose a fun activity that you enjoy. Exercise should not be a punishment, but a treat.

Author Info

Dr Nagi Safa

Dr Nagi Safa is a Metabolic and Bariatric Surgeon (Weight-Loss Surgeon) at the Advanced BMI in Lebanon and at the Sacred Heart Hospital of Montreal, and holds an academic appointment at the University of Montreal. Furthermore, he is involved in the training of residents and surgical fellows on how to perform advanced laparoscopic obesity surgery. In 2010, he launched the Advanced Bariatric and Metabolic Institute (Advanced BMI) in Lebanon, and has been helping hundreds of patients from all over the Middle-East through his expertise in obesity surgery. Education: Dr Safa completed his residency training at the University of Montreal General Surgery Program. He then performed a fellowship in Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, and Minimal Invasive Surgery (Laparoscopic and Robotic Surgery), at the Sacred Heart Hospital of Montreal, which is the largest Weight Loss Surgery center in the Montreal area, and one of the busiest in Canada. Experience: During his training, and throughout his practice, Dr Safa performed more than one thousand laparoscopic procedures, including Roux en Y gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy, gastric banding, gastric plication and many other abdominal surgery procedures. He has a particular interest in LaparoscopicRevisional Surgery including banding, bypass and sleeve. With a keen interest in the advancement of obesity surgery and newer minimally invasive surgical techniques, Dr Safa gained experience in the single incision laparoscopic surgery (SILS), and offers Single Incision gastric banding and Sleeve Gastrectomy Surgery. Research: His current research interests include clinical outcomes from various bariatric surgery procedures and investigations on the impact of bariatric surgery on Type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome X. Memberships: Dr Safa holds professional memberships with the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, Canadian Association of Bariatric Physicians and Surgeons, Canadian Association of General Surgeons, Canadian Medical Association, Canadian Association for Surgical Oncology, Quebec Medical Association, Trauma Association of Canada, Association Quebecoise de Chirurgie, International College of Surgeon, and the College des Medecins du Quebec.
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