Everyone knows that regular aerobic exercise and meditation are excellent mood boosters. However, when combined, they're incredibly effective at combating depression.
In fact, an in-depth study shows that combining these two led to a reduction in symptoms of clinical depression by an astounding 40%. The study reveals that while both meditation and exercise can ease and alleviate symptoms of depression on their own, the effects double up when combined.
Participants in the study showed better functioning in their brain’s activity and enhanced capability to pay attention. They were less susceptible to feeling anxious and overwhelmed. They were also less likely to think about the past, a primary contributor to depression---as per experts.
At the same time, an insightful study shows that depressed adults who practiced aerobic exercise showed improvement as much as those treated with antidepressants. Unfortunately, each year up to 3.2 million attributes to poor physical conditions, while mental health issues account for an estimated 16% of the global burden of disease.
Thus, study after study shows that instead of focusing on one sector, we should combine nutrition, exercise, and meditation to enjoy leading a healthy and happy life:
Diet is a foundational pillar to staying healthy, rooting from providing your body the proper nutrients and vitamins to ensure good performance. On the other hand, excess, malnutrition, or imbalance in energy and nutrients can lead to undesirable effects on your body's performance and shape.
In fact, in-taking proper nutrients is a great way to prevent as well as treat depression. In the past ten years, many studies have demonstrated the impact of eating healthy on your physical and mental health.
An unhealthy diet high in sugar, processed foods, trans fats, and refined foods can increase your risk of developing depression. The risk is higher in children and teens since it deprives them of necessary nutrients and breeds harmful bacteria in your gut.
Multiple types of research show that exercise assists in the process of neurogenesis, as it produces new brain cells in your hippocampus.
The hippocampus refers to the part of your brain associated with learning, memory, and emotions. Studies show that individuals suffering from clinical and seasonal depression boast a smaller hippocampus than people who are not depressed.
Exercise is an effective method to regulate blood flow and oxygen levels in your body. Delivering more of these biochemicals is the best way to make your brain feel happier and relaxed.
On the flip side, meditation makes the parasympathetic system active. The system helps calm down your central nervous system, reducing your stress response.
Plus, meditation affects the prefrontal cortex responsible for judgment, emotions, and thoughtful analysis. In-depth brain studies of people who meditate show better signaling in the prefrontal cortex. It leads to a greater ability to concentrate and focus.
Day-to-day stress and anxiety can trigger depression. However, by combining a nutritious diet with meditation and exercise, you can avoid developing potential physical and mental health issues.
Combat negative feelings and thoughts while feeling anxious and stressed by practicing meditation and exercising.
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a super prevalent disorder in most cultures in the world. In fact, the prevalence ranges between 6% and 18% across various countries. Moreover, according to an in-depth research, one in every 10 adults in the U.S. struggles with depression.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 1.9 million people qualified as obese back in 2019. These included people from age groups of 18 and above. This means that 16% of the world population was obese in 2016. The number keeps increasing over time but let us brush some basics before we move ahead, like how sleep and weight loss is connected.