Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Exercise is Medicine
"We were never designed for the sedentary, indoor, socially isolated, fast-food-laden, sleep-deprived, frenzied pace of modern life."
I was watching a TEDx talk about the increasing incidence of clinical depression. This is especially true among the younger generation. Having experienced depression in the past I have an interest in this topic. The key message of this talk was that the changes in how we socialize, eat, and generally live, are root causes of depression, and why the spread of depression is getting worse. Look around the next time you are out shopping....how many people are NOT overweight? Look around at the guys over 40 on MH, A4A, Grindr, etc......how many are NOT overweight? And I think that gay guys are generally in better physical shape than the rest of the population.....just my theory.
I can speak from personal experience, exercise is necessary for staying physically and mentally healthy. Twelve years ago I started a serious exercise and diet program. In less than six months, I lost thirty pounds from my peak. I felt much better. I had more energy. My clothes fit well. People complimented me on how I looked. Most importantly, it got me past being depressed. I had a few false starts with exercising, but eventually I did it and stuck with it.
Over the last decade my weight has varied a bit. I've gone some months with little exercise, but mostly I have done ok. My resting heart rate is now down to 43. I saw this fitness age online calculator in the NYT a few weeks ago. Amazingly, my fitness age was scored at 21! My workouts rarely last more than 75 minutes.
Forget Prozac, Paxil, and the like. Try exercise for improving your mood.