Fitness is the crux of life. You might be talented, smart and intelligent but if you are not healthy there is not much scope to be extremely successful in life as you might face obstacles in the form of health issues at every juncture of life. Physical fitness directly impacts your health in the form of cognition, mortality, heart disease risk and overall wellness. Exercise has always been a prescription for mental wellness, happiness and overall well-being. Read more about how exercise can be your gateway to happiness by visiting www.firsteatright.com. Leading an active lifestyle by exercising regularly, eating healthy food and staying fit helps you face your day-to-day issues with confidence. We have got several research results linking depression with reduced levels of physical activity. But a new study now matches physical performance with mental health and emotions.
Upper & Lower Body Performance Levels Directly Impacts Depression Levels
The study from Singapore is the first one to evaluate objective measures of physical performance to depression and anxiety in premenopausal, perimenopausal and postmenopausal women. Women, especially those above middle age, face greater risks with emotional imbalance in the form of depression and anxiety. The study enrolled 1,100 women aged between 45 and 69 years measuring their physical performance and mental fitness levels. Almost 15% participants, mostly younger age ones, were those who reported increased depression and anxiety levels. The researchers conducted tests to measure the participants’ upper and lower body strength. Results showed that those who expressed weak upper body strength (handgrip strength) and lower body strength (repeated chair stand test) were clearly linked to increased depression and anxiety symptoms.
Depression is depressing indeed. It has the ability to put one’s life in a turmoil affecting quality of life, having a strong impact on mortality risk, heart disease and can even cause disability. Hence, identifying risk factors of depression and taking steps to curb it at the initial stages is the wise route to conquer.
Exercise is your ‘me’ time where you dedicate it completely for your well-being. It takes you off the mood swings, tension, stress and negativities surrounding you. While we still need research whether strength training exercises that improve physical performance will also stave off depression and anxiety in women above 45 years, there are studies that also show that strength training has shown positive effects in reducing the depressive symptoms in many women. While doing aerobic or strength training exercises there is an increase in blood flow to the brain which might be a factor for suppressing depression or there might be chances of release of endorphins such as dopamine that help to cope with stress and keep you composed. Whatever it is, you need to exercise daily to stay healthy irrespective of its advantages and benefits. Do your workout regularly and eat a well-balanced diet to achieve wellness in life.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.