Coping & Prevention


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Preventing Depression

The human body subsists on nature’s healing power, deriving a host of benefits from plant life, and many other natural wonders.

For this reason, social withdrawal and indoor isolation heighten the possibility of mood disorders and anxiety.

It is estimated that 1 in 10 Americans suffer from depression, and this reflects an alarmingly high segment of the population.

In a high paced world, depression is a predictable result of high stress environments, job loss, poor diet, and a variety of other factors.

Tapering these rampant depression rates will require a certain degree of personal will power, and a notable shift in one’s daily activities.

Remarkably, outdoor exercises curb depression rates and refresh the cognitive, emotional and chemical functions of the brain. Read below to discover the benefits of outdoor workouts.

The Magic Behind Outdoor Workouts

#1 Oxygen: Nature can bestow you with a slew of physical, emotional and psychological benefits. We are wired to internalize nature’s greatest asset, fresh air-which is replete with oxygen molecules.

Indoor environments suffer from a dearth of proper ventilation, leaving you at the mercy of contaminated air particles.

Indoor settings are ridden with insidious toxins that affect respiratory and psychological health. Exercising outdoors, however, grants you less exposure to toxic air particles.

Without sufficient oxygen levels, your brain will not metabolize energy at full capacity. Oxygen is required for cellular respiration, the process by which your body consumes this molecule, and produces ATP, or life sustaining energy.

In essence, exercising outside can feed you O2 straight from the swaying trees around you. This simple phenomenon can enliven you with keen mental alertness and ample energy.

#2 Antidepressant Flowers: Floral scents bolster both serotonin levels and serotonin reuptake (the process by which serotonin molecules are recycled and replenished by mood enhancing neurons in the brain).

#3 Sunshine and Vitamin D: The sun fulfills many life sustaining functions, and human life would cease to exist without the profoundly important role it plays on our planet.

The sun bestows our species with the most readily absorbed form of Vitamin D there is. Accordingly, it saturates our receptive bodies with a flush of serotonin, with each strobe of sunlight.

There is no better source of Vitamin D than this, and sitting indoors on a consistent basis will leave you feeling glum.

Even if you absorb the sun’s calming rays for only 30 minutes per day, you can still forgo the onset of depression.

#4 Change Of Scenery: A change of scenery is an unlikely source of serotonin, and other mood enhancing hormones.

The simple notion of a new experience induces an influx of dopamine, a reward hormone that is released when we anticipate a banana split, a romantic date, or an otherwise positive situation.

Hence, when you enter a brand new setting for your workout routine, your brain interprets this as a reward, and enhances your mood with a flood of dopamine.

#5 Immunity: There is an indelible thread between compromised immunity and depression. While few are aware of this, a weakened immune system can make you more susceptible to feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and much worse.

Logically speaking, a poor immune system invites disease, and disease sparks depression. So, get outdoors, and give your white blood cells a rigorous strength training exercise.

#6 Muscle Building: This facet of outdoor exercise plays a chief role in averting depression. When you exercise outdoors, you coerce your body into flexing and fortifying muscles that you would otherwise neglect during conventional, indoor workouts-which are designed to target specific muscle groups.

When you take strides along the pavement, or along hilly grass, you flex a number of different muscle groups. Furthermore, the lack of exercise equipment available outdoors may compel you to innovate new moves.

Muscle building is correlated with metabolism, which ensures a fit, healthy body less vulnerable to depression.

#7 Better Sleep: Did you know that sleep deprivation provides fodder for negativity, irritability and sadness? Exposure to natural lighting can regulate your circadian rhythms, and afford you with a healthy sleep cycle.

#8 Emotional Regulation: Contrary to popular belief, nestling in the “safe” cove of your humble abode merely heightens your sensitivity to negative stimuli.

In fact, studies confirm that outdoor exercise ensures better emotional regulation, in terms of anger, confusion and depression.

While the causal relationship behind the outdoors and enhanced mood remains unclear, there is a strong correlation.

#9 More Motivation: Individuals who engage in outdoor exercise are more likely to engage in a repeat session. In fact, you are 23% more likely to repeat an outdoor exercise session, than an indoor one.

Somehow, the outdoor setting contributes to motivational factors that effectively steer one towards their fitness goals.

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