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Physical Exercise In The Therapeutic Lifestyle Change

Posted Apr 21 2011 5:00am

 

Physical Exercise In The Therapeutic Lifestyle Change

by: Phil Holleman

The third step in the Therapeutic Lifestyle Change is physical exercise. Because I'm telling my story on this site, I have got to tell everyone, this is something I really struggle with. It's amazing when you know what to do, but you don't do it anyway. According to Dr. Stephen S. Ilardi, PhD. in his book The Depression Cure: The 6-Step Program to Beat Depression without Drugs :

Researchers have compared aerobic exercise and Zoloft head to head in the treatment of depression. Even at a low “dose” of exercise–thirty minutes of brisk walking three times a week–patients who worked out did just as well as those who took the medication. Strikingly, though, the patients on Zoloft were about three times more likely than exercisers to become depressed again over a ten-month follow-up period.

There are now over a hundred published studies documenting the antidepressant effects of exercise. Activities as varied as walking, biking, jogging, and weight lifting have all been found to be effective. It’s also becoming clear just how they work. Exercise changes the brain. It increases the activity level of important brain chemicals such as dopamine and serotonin (the same neurochemical targeted by popular drugs like Zoloft, Prozac, and Lexapro). Exercise also increases the brain’s production of a key growth hormone called BDNF . Because levels of this hormone plummet in depression, some parts of the brain start to shrink over time, and learning and memory are impaired. But exercise reverses this trend, protecting the brain in a way nothing else can.
Excuses, Excuses, Excuses!
I really wish I had a good excuse as to why I don't exercise. But, that wouldn't matter because excuses are well-planned lies ( Dani Johnson quote). My biggest problem is I get bored. I'm one of those folks who has to feel like he's accomplishing something when he's involved in an activity. I mean, walking just to walk is really boring. Weight training by myself is really boring.
  When I lived in Coral Springs, I worked with a personal trainer for a few years. That was great for several reasons. The biggest reason was that I had to show up. Suffering from depression, I needed all the motivation I could find to get to the gym. If I hadn't been working with Jen, my personal trainer, I wouldn't have done it. The second reason was the motivation. Jen has a great way of keeping you going. She never let me quit and she pushed me. Even though I was depressed, it was really cool to see the changes I made in my body from working out.   The obvious question is…… "What happened?" Well, Jen changed careers and I lost motivation and fell back into my old ways. Ever since, I have started doing things, then quit. I ran, I walked, I did this, I did that. Nothing has caught my attention long-term.   I can use your help. What do you do to exercise that magnificent body you have? Tell me, tell me. I'm open for suggestions here. I ain't proud. Yours in good health,  

Phil Holleman spent 10 years struggling with major depression.  After realizing he had the knowledge and strength to rise above the illness and stigma associated with it, he created ABoldNewLife.com to help others who are recovering or desperately want to recover from depression. He hopes you will join him on the journey and use your inner strength to free yourself from the bondage. Get your free Depression Relief Protocol . Rid yourself from feeling hopeless, sad, and unworthy now. Get this Protocol now !    

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