When in doubt, work out.

I wonder if the staggering amounts of depression and anxiety rates are fueled largely by our sedentary lifestyles in our current cultures?  Where so many of us work in occupations that keep us indoors and seated at a desk and computer.

One thing I know for sure is that when I am active, I feel better.  Another thing I know is that when I am VERY active, I feel A LOT better.

I was at a parent meeting tonight where a psychologist stated that endorphins are 27x more powerful than morphine.  Therefore, a half hour workout per day is as good as a day’s worth of morphine.  Particularly in the pain we feel from depression and anxiety.

We are in a culture made up of people slowing down simultaneously.  Moving away from farming and manual labour to more mind-jobs, perhaps our bodies and systems don’t know what is hitting them.

I in my book, if we are not doing the basics of good health such as nutrition and exercise, then we are not getting the most from any medication or therapy we receive for depression and anxiety.  In my experience, health and fitness are the foundations of good mental health and recovery.

I am an avid fitness enthusiast.  I havent always been to the degree I am today, and I know that when I was at my worst for general, non-circumstantial anxiety and depression, I was 20-30 lbs heavier than I am today, and was far less active.

When I am consistent in my workouts and cycling, every area of my life improves.  I think clearer, sleep better, feel more optimistic, care more about others, and just generally feel happier.  My head is less cluttered even though it was my body that worked out.

One of my mentors (online) has been Tom Venuto.  I use his material and suggestions…. they work.  He is balanced, sensible, and his programs are manageable.  No, I don’t work for him and no, this is not a paid endorsement.  I don’t even know him other than online.  I just wanted to share an accessible resource that I have found great success in.

Tom Venuto

His web site is http://www.holygrailbodytransformation.com/

One of th most compelling things Tom stresses, and the relevance to me in my journey forward, is that we make fitness a part of our lifestyle.  We embed it in who we are. We live it, not just try it for a time.  We live it daily, a day at a time.  And the results add up all by themselves to better health and fitness… for life.

Ciao.

Chaz

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About Chaz

Husband, father, brother, son, friend. Sober member of AA. Grateful for the life God gave me and for the happy struggle of recovery.
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12 Responses to When in doubt, work out.

  1. eremophila says:

    Another pertinent post Chaz! When I was too ill to even walk, dealing with angry feelings became quite challenging, and led to me writing more. Now I’m able to exercise again, I don’t write as much…..so each situation has its merits. But overall, I reckon good food and exercise cures many ills of the mind:-)

    • Chaz says:

      Ya, I don’t believe we were designed to not be active. Am sure we could adapt if we were not physically mobile, but short of that, I think we can all benefit in some way.

  2. Chaz,

    Thanks for reminding me of the importance of working out. Sadly, when I need it the most, because I am more sedentary than ever teaching online, it is the first thing that I sacrifice. Of course, when I neglect my work outs my mood and my physical well-being suffer. I will check out Tom Venuto. Spring is coming. Yay! More time to move outdoors.

    See you at the gym!

    • Chaz says:

      Tom Venuto puts on challenges at least twice a year. You set a personal goal and work at it during usually 90 days. It is amazingly motivating. His advice is very sound and sensible. No magic formulas. Best of all, the biggest reward is feeling better.

      Ciao.

      Chaz

  3. kweenmama says:

    This is a truth I have known for quite some time. I always feel better physically, mentally, and emotionally if I am eating right and getting enough exercise. When my sis was going through a bout of depression I urged over and over to get outdoors and be active. Thanks for posting!

    • Chaz says:

      As gruelling as it was, when I forced myself to get active when I was going through deep bouts of depression I ALWAYS felt better. When depressed, it is not the exercise that is the toughest thing, it is ramping up the volition to get started. We think and churn and ponder and rationalize… often into a state of further immobility. Like our depression is self-preserving.

      Good on you for encouraging your sis this way. It is safe and wise advice.

      Ciao.

      Chaz

  4. jobo says:

    Couldn’t agree more!! I just sent this to a few friends and also tweeted it 😉 That’s how much I agreed. I sit here debating a tack-on ab workout to this morning’s weight workout and now feel more motivated to just do it because I need some energy to wake up and finish the rest of the day. Great motivation I needed today 🙂

  5. D.Rene. says:

    Well, you make it a no-brainer. The argument that our knowledge work has caused us become inactive and therefore more apt to anxiety makes all the sense in the world. I love this post and I’ll give you credit every time I share your point in my ever-so-wise way.

  6. hcgdiet says:

    magnificent post, very informative. I’m wondering why the other experts of this sector do not notice this. You should continue your writing. I’m
    sure, you’ve a huge readers’ base already!

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