Fitness & Wellness

When Losing Weight, Medications Can Be Crucial

When Losing Weight, Medications Can Be Crucial

It can be a tough battle if you’re losing weight, but well worth the effort. Today, more focus than ever is focused on it, since obesity is now the leading cause of preventable death, overtaking smoking. Just like patches and medications for smoking cessation, there are medications to help boost weight loss. However, like quitting smoking, the big difference comes from the changes you make in life. For smokers, it may be going to the gym and getting more exercise to help resist the urge to smoke. For people trying to lose weight, it includes that, plus changing eating habits.

Lifestyle changes are the most important, but when you add weight loss medication it makes a big difference.

Studies on the best approach to weight loss say that lifestyle changes are necessary, but that when you combine that with medication, it boosts the weight loss by as much as 10%. Those changes in eating habits, sleeping habits and the addition of a regular workout program also increase the potential for keeping weight from returning.

Sustaining weight loss is important.

Losing weight is tough enough but keeping it off is even tougher. In order to dramatically affect health, weight loss has to be sustained. Not only does losing weight help reverse insulin resistance, but it can also help reverse type 2 diabetes or reduce the need for insulin and medications. Sustained weight loss can also improve cardiovascular conditions and help limit the effect of other diseases.

Do the drugs have any side effects or long term dangers?

There are approximately four medications that are approved for use. Bupropion-naltrexone under the name of Contrave, Liraglutide, sold as Saxenda, Orlistat called Xenical and Phentermine-topiramate sold commercially as Qsymia. Bupropion-naltrexone is an antidepressant and carries side effects of increased risk of suicide, nausea, constipation and headache. Liraglutide is used for diabetes, given by injection and may cause nausea. Orlistat can be purchased over-the-counter as Alli. It can cause gas and digestive issues and may damage the liver. Phentermine-topiramate combines two drugs, one of which is an anticonvulsant. It can be abused, since it acts like amphetamine. It also can increase blood pressure and heart rate, while increasing the risk of birth defects.

  • In order to get the right type of drug that really helps, you need to work with your health care professional. Most of these drugs are available only to the severely overweight and obese.
  • While there are risks to many of these drugs for weight loss, often the benefits outweigh the risks, particularly in the severely obese. It’s always important to work closely with your health care professional.
  • Some people using weight loss drugs take a combination of several drugs. If there are side effects, such as nausea, adjusting the dosage or combination often solves the problem.
  • Some medical professionals believe that in order to maintain the weight loss, the drugs must be taken the rest of the life of the patient. Others suggest that medication is only a supplement to aid in weight loss, for initial weight loss and until lifestyle changes become habit.

For more information, contact us today at Team Worx Fitness

Does Boba Have Any Nutritional Value?

Does Boba Have Any Nutritional Value?

As more and more people in Alexandria, VA, start to find the latest craze, Boba tea, I get more and more questions on its health benefits and nutritional value. First, let’s look at exactly what boba tea is. Most people trace the origins back to Taiwan, where it’s as popular as coffee is in America. It’s normally a combination of sweetened milk tea with both artificial and natural flavors in it, then topped off with tapioca pearls that look a bit like bubbles as they emerge. Hence, the name boba which is a reference to the bubbles.

You need a big straw to drink boba tea.

Unlike coffee, you don’t chug the tea, but drink it through a straw. It’s part of the fun of drinking the tea, those chewy little pearls of tapioca pop into your mouth one at a time and getting the pleasure of chewing your drink. It also comes in a variety of flavors, just like the popular coffees do today. While some of the ingredients in boba tea provide health benefits, others do not. For instance, the tea used as the base is healthy, but the sweeteners and syrups reduce the health benefits.

Plain tea vs boba tea.

Most boba tea starts out as milk tea, then tapioca balls are added. Tea of any kind has health benefits. It contains caffeine that are in smaller amounts than coffee, but still provide a benefit. Caffeine in smaller amounts is known for being heart healthy. It contains polyphenols, which are antioxidants to protect you at a cellular level. Green tea especially is also heart healthy, improves brain function, helps increase fat loss and helps prevent cancer.

It’s the fixins’ that can interfere with the health benefits.

While we all know about the benefits of milk, thanks to the Dairy Counsel, and now understand how tea is healthy, what about the rest of the drink? Boba tea that’s loaded with sweeteners and artificial flavoring isn’t the same as drinking plain tea or milk tea. Even plain milk tea has 140 calories compared to drinking plain green tea, which has zero calories. Now when you add the extra sweetener and flavored syrups, you end up with as many calories as you might consume in a meal.

  • Boba tea can be served hot or cold. It can be as simple as any type of tea with tapioca balls or as complex milk tea with a variety of flavors and jellies or other types of soft gelatinous balls as the floaters instead of tapioca pearls.
  • The tapioca pearls are traditionally made from tapioca starch and a ten gram serving contains an additional 35 calories. Even those have been changed in many cases, and sweeteners are added to boost the calorie count.
  • The syrups added to the boba tea also add additional calories, which can make it even harder to shed pounds if you drink one or two a day with all the extras. The high sugar content can increase the risk for insulin resistance.
  • Just like the healthy benefits of coffee that diminish because of the extra calories, when you order a mocha Frappuccino containing 500 Calories and sweeteners, all the additives in boba tea can diminish the health benefits of tea.

For more information, contact us today at Team Worx Fitness

Top Exercises For Stronger Biceps

Top Exercises For Stronger Biceps

Toned arms can make any summer outfit look fabulous and even dresses add to that stunning look. If you’re more into building great guns, these exercises for stronger biceps can help you too. The biceps have two heads and in order to maximize your workout, you have to work both heads. Many exercises can do that. If you don’t have equipment, bodyweight exercises can do the job, too. One exercise that’s exceptional and can be done anywhere, involves lifting weight, but that weight is your leg. Roll a towel lengthwise and put it behind your thigh. Hold an end in each hand. Pull until you lift your leg off the ground.

Push-ups are a favorite “oldie but goodie.”

One thing about push-ups and many other traditional bodyweight exercises. You can do push-ups the traditional way or modify it to work other muscles. The traditional method works the chest, triceps and deltoids, but when you change your hand placement, putting the hands closer together with just a few inches in between, it makes the push-ups harder and also works your biceps more. Doing an inside push-up with reverse hands further down and fingers pointing toward your feet also targets the biceps, just as one-armed push-ups do.

If you have dumbbells and a chin-up bar, you have a great biceps workout tool.

Alternating dumbbell biceps curls from one side to the other can build great muscles or tone your muscles. Go for more weight and fewer repetitions to build and more reps and lighter weight to tone. Grip toward one side of the dumbbell to build muscle even faster. It’s the added wrist action that helps. Use an underhand grip for pull-ups to work the biceps, placing your hands 6-8 inches apart. Focus on both lifting and slowly lowering your body. If you have a weight vest or dip belt, wear it during pull-ups.

Cable curls are exceptional for building biceps.

While it may seem a lot like standing barbell curls, there’s a difference. They’re similar in that you’re standing, lifting the bar with hands in shoulder-width position and an underhanded grip, however, it’s also different in the tension throughout. When you’re working with cable curls, the tension doesn’t stop at the bottom or the top, like it does with barbells. It’s constant, giving you a better workout for your biceps.

  • Do chair dips to build your biceps. You can use any type of firm chair that doesn’t have rollers or sturdy coffee table. Facing the chair, put your hands on the edge and grasp as you lower yourself toward the floor with legs out behind and do a modified push-up.
  • If you have resistance bands, they’re a good way to build biceps. You can stand on the middle, feet at shoulder-width, with one end in each hand and slowly lift hands with palms facing upward, then slowly lower them again.
  • Modifying your diet to include more protein can also help build all muscles, including the biceps. Some trainers believe that diet plays a huge role in how successful you are.
  • To maximize benefits, do your biceps exercises at the beginning of your workout and never at the end. Don’t continuously use the same routine but vary your workout frequently.

For more information, contact us today at Team Worx Fitness

Does Carb Timing Actually Work?

Does Carb Timing Actually Work?

At TeamWorx in Alexandria, VA, our goal is to help you become fit, which means focusing on both exercise and nutrition. During your time in the gym, we attempt to answer questions immediately, but when they are asked a lot, often answer in a blog, so you have more time for other questions. Recently, there’s a lot of talk about carb timing You may have seen it on TikTok, where people consumed Rice Krispie bars before going to the gym, but it has been part of marathons for years, but called carb loading.

Pre and post workout snacks are examples of carbohydrate timing.

Eating a combination of carbohydrates and protein before and after a workout has its benefits. These light snacks can be as simple as peanut butter on an apple or cottage cheese and fruit. The concept is that the carbs provide instant energy and the protein to help retain muscle and for a longer energy boost. After your workout, the snack helps replenish glycogen and improves muscle repair and recovery.

Stick with food without added sugar.

If you’re going to time carbs, make them healthy. While loading up on pasta may work for marathons, it doesn’t for most carb timing. To help become your fittest, snacks need to be healthy and contain no added sugar. Fresh fruit is always a good choice and so is a sweet potato. You can combine it with protein like cheese, nuts or nut products, or even a glass of milk. Avoid junk food, like soft drinks, pasta, pretzels, desserts and candy.

You can benefit from carb timing even if you aren’t planning a workout.

Once you know that consuming some carbs before a workout can help, you can use that information when you’re not going to the gym. Are you going to be in meetings all day? Go easy on the simple carbs. If you’re not using them for instant energy, they convert to fat that’s stored. Instead, opt for lighter snacks and reduce your carbohydrate intake dramatically.

  • The carbs provide fuel for exercise and if you workout without eating them first, you might not have enough energy in reserve in the form of glycogen in the muscles. Without the extra fuel, either your body breaks down muscle for energy, you don’t have as good of a workout or both.
  • If you do choose simple carbs before or after a workout, use natural choices, such as fruit, which provides other benefits. The average American diet contains far too much added sugar to maintain a healthy body. Men should have 9 teaspoons a day or less and women should have no more than 6.
  • If you choose a complex carb for carb timing, it can also improve your performance, while keeping blood sugar levels more stable. It can aid in boosting protein stores in the muscles. Whole grains are a source of complex carbs and when combined with a slice of cheese or turkey, a great snack.
  • You may not need to do carb timing before a workout if your workout isn’t intense, but just moderate intensity. If you can talk while you’re working out, it’s moderate. If you’re gasping for air, it’s high intensity.

For more information, contact us today at Team Worx Fitness

Will I Lose Weight As A Vegetarian?

Will I Lose Weight As A Vegetarian?

People choose to become a vegetarian for a number of reasons. I always tell people at Team Worx Fitness in Alexandria, VA, that the best way to lose weight is to eat healthy and don’t make any specific recommendations on diet. However, when asked if you can lose weight on a vegetarian diet, the answer is simple. Absolutely! That is as long as you aren’t supplementing that diet with vegetarian options of junk food and food with added sugar. It’s a bit harder to balance a vegetarian diet, but if you do, and stick with healthy principals, it might even be easier.

Is a vegetarian diet the same as a vegan diet?

Those words are often mixed, and they don’t mean the same things. Vegans don’t consume ANY animal products, including eggs or dairy. Many don’t even use products containing anything from animals, like wearing leather shoes. A vegetarian diet is a lot easier to stick with and balance, since it has both plant and animal protein. Eggs are a great source of protein. Vegetarians simply refrain from eating the flesh of animals, not all animal products.

It’s all about making healthier choices when you select food.

If you’re eating a vegetarian diet and it includes pastries and candy that’s not healthy. Sure, it doesn’t have animal meat, but it has added sugar, which comes from a plant. Too often, I’ve seen meat substitutes that are far less healthy than the original. Take Impossible Burgers for instance. They’re higher in sodium than the real thing, and they still come on a bun, with condiments galore. Choose wisely and don’t be fooled by imitation products that substitute for meat. They might not be as healthy as you think and far more fattening.

It may be easier to lose weight as a vegetarian.

Red meat has lots of calories compared to a boiled egg. Filling up on salad can actually reduce your calorie intake. Be aware that it’s not about the label you choose to call yourself, it’s about the food you eat and the calorie and health benefits or hazards it contains. Sugar comes from plants but is toxic to the system and can cause you to gain weight. Studies show vegetarians and vegans actually tend to be leaner, but it’s a generalization that depends on the food you eat within that category.

  • Nuts are a source of protein often consumed by vegetarians. However, if you opt for nuts with a thick coating of sugar, they cease being healthy and definitely won’t help you lose weight.
  • One way that vegetarianism can help with weight loss is that it increases fiber in your diet, as long as you opt for unprocessed vegetables and fruit. They help you feel full longer, so you eat less.
  • Some vegetarian options, like avocados and nuts that contain healthy fat or protein options like beans, also keep you feeling full longer. They also contain fiber that slows the release of glucose in your blood stream to aid in preventing insulin resistance.
  • No matter what your choice of diet, including vegan and vegetarian, losing weight is all about making the smartest possible choices and eating healthy.

For more information, contact us today at Team Worx Fitness

Healthy Sugar Alternatives

Healthy Sugar Alternatives

People want to be healthy, and often cut out foods with added sugar, but instead choose those with honey or maple syrup, which is healthier, but still sugar. There are some alternative sugar alternatives that don’t have the same effect, but may have other complications, like explosive diarrhea and gas. Still, there are times when the desire for something sweet that isn’t fruit can become important and for those times, a healthy replacement for sugar may help.

Tagatose is a new sugar substitute that may actually help diabetics.

Tagatose or D-tagatose is made from lactose, milk sugar, but it normally doesn’t affect those who are lactose intolerant. A very small minority reported gassiness and bloating. It has some health benefits, too. It has a low glycemic index is very low in net carbohydrates. In fact, it has been shown to lower blood sugar levels in people, even if they have type 2 diabetes. One trial study showed after six months of low doses, it helped reduce insulin resistance. It’s also been shown to be a prebiotic and increase short-chain fatty acid production that reduces inflammation in the gut. It may increase uric acid or lower blood sugar too much if you’re on medication for diabetes, so if you have a history of gout, kidney stones or are taking medication, discuss it with your health care professional.

Use fruit to sweeten your food.

Instead of just eating fruit, you can use it in cooking to sweeten other dishes. Figs and date paste are often used as sweeteners. Ripe bananas can add sweetness especially when mixed with yogurt. You add no extra sweetener but get the sweet taste you’d have from added sugar. Applesauce has always been a substitute for sugar and fat, but you still have to use some sugar. It can replace half the sugar or fat in baked goods. If you want a sweet cold treat on a hot summer day, freeze fruit chunks then blend it for a sorbet without any added sugar.

Monk fruit came from Southeast Asia and has been used in Chinese medicine, but now is a sugar substitute.

Monk fruit, like many alternatives to sugar, is far sweeter. In fact, it’s between 100 and 250 times sweeter than sugar, which means a little goes a long way. It’s made from the flesh of the monk fruit and has both fructose and glucose, but that isn’t what makes it sweet. It’s the antioxidant mogrosides V that it contains. It has health benefits, like immune system, digestive tract and respiratory tract support. Manufacturers often combine it with other types of sugar, so beware when you buy it that it doesn’t contain other sugar, like corn syrup or sugar alcohol.

  • Stevia, from the leaf of the Stevia rebaudiana plant, not only is an alternative sweetener that’s beneficial for diabetics, it may lower blood pressure, but only if it’s high. However, it can upset your digestive system.
  • Chicory root can also be turned into a sugar substitute that also has vitamins and minerals. It isn’t no or low calorie. Just like monk fruit, you have to be careful, since it’s sometimes mixed with other sweeteners.
  • Many companies use sugar alcohols as substitutes for sweeteners. Xylitol is one and it may actually help improve bone density and prevent cavities. One drawback are digestive issues and gassiness it causes.
  • The diet potato or yacon plant tastes like a pear but got its nickname because it looks like a potato. It is a sugar substitute that may aid in weight loss and help prevent constipation. Tea made from the leaves have anti-diabetic properties.

For more information, contact us today at Team Worx Fitness

Foods That Make You Feel Good

Foods That Make You Feel Good

When someone mentions foods that make you feel good, you might automatically think of those comfort foods, like a pint of ice cream, mashed potatoes and gravy or double chocolate, chocolate chip cookies. That’s not the type of food that really changes your body to help lift your spirits, but the type of food associated mentally with feeling better. There are actual foods that can help improve your mood in the long run. In fact, if your comfort food is a sweet, it’s probably prolonging your misery, since sugary processed food causes fluctuations in your blood sugar level, with lows leaving you sad and miserable.

Look for foods high in vitamin B6, tryptophan and Omega-3 fatty acids.

Nuts are a great food for lifting your spirits, particularly cashews, Brazil nuts and peanuts. Flaxseed also joins that group. The vitamin tryptophan in cashews converts to serotonin, which helps stabilize your mood and makes you feel happier and more relaxed, and the vitamin B6 helps with that conversion. Walnuts are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which helps make you less angry and happier. A study focused on changing the diet at a prison with a higher amount of violence and found it reduced the incidences dramatically.

Boost your brain power, fight cancer and improve your mood with berries.

Berries, particularly blueberries, have loads of phytochemicals that fight free radicals that come from our environment. Anthocyanin that makes blueberries blue, is one of the flavonoids that provide brain protection and also helps you feel good. One study compared the effects of drinking a placebo, to drinking a drink made of wild blueberries. The wild blueberry drink improved the mood for people, no matter what their age. Other fresh berries, particularly those that are deep red or purple, also have a similar effect. The same is true for vegetables that are deep red or purple.

Eating your greens helps you body and your mood.

If you have a bowl of leafy greens, you’ve got a bowl of fiber, magnesium, vitamin B6 and folate. As noted previously the B6 helps convert tryptophan to serotonin, increasing the amount the body gets. Serotonin is similar to antidepressants, so the more you have in your body, the lower the risk for depression. You’ll also find B6 in carrots, green peas, sweet potatoes and legumes. The folate (not folic acid, which people often confuse it with) in leafy greens also helps regulate the serotonin and magnesium has been used to treat depression for years.

  • If chocolate was on your feel good list, you may be on the right track, but it has to be dark chocolate with a high amount of cacao, very little if any milk or sugar. It’s the polyphenols in cacao that make it good for your mood.
  • You need foods high in vitamin C to produce neurotransmitters that are necessary to make hormones like dopamine, noradrenaline and serotonin, which make you feel good. Red bell peppers and citrus fruits and good sources.
  • Many Americans have a deficiency of magnesium, which can cause depression. Eating a handful of pumpkin seeds each day can help replenish the magnesium.
  • Increasing blood circulation can occur when blood vessels dilate. That can improve your mood. A cup and a half cups of coffee each day can help do that. The caffeine also increases the production of dopamine.

For more information, contact us today at Team Worx

Is Cheese Sabotaging My Weight Loss?

Is Cheese Sabotaging My Weight Loss?

Many clients at Team Worx Fitness in Alexandria, VA, have come to me confused. They’ve eaten dairy all their life, including cheese, thinking it was a healthy option and one good for weight loss, only to find they might be mistaken. One reason for the confusion is the variety of cheese you use and the amount. Too often people don’t consider serving size, but instead, slice the cheese thick and eat several servings at once.

There are healthier cheeses and unhealthy ones.

Read the label. If it says cheese food, prepared cheese or processed cheese, it’s not real cheese. For instance, in 2016, manufacturers of Parmesan cheese had to remove their cheese from the grocery shelves because the FDA noted that many of them were nothing more than grated cheddar and cellulose—which is made from wood pulp and used as an anti-clumping agent. Highly processed cheese food, disguised as cheese, can destroy your diet and health, particularly cheese food like nacho cheese. Unless the label reads pasteurized processed cheese, it’s not 100% cheese. If instead reads pasteurized processed cheese product or cheese food, it’s only 51% cheese.

The fat in cheese can fill you up, but too much of it can fill you out, too.

If you’re shopping for the best cheese for a diet, don’t immediately head for the low fat, no fat option. In fact, that might even make you gain weight. Like yogurt that’s had the fat removed, when they remove the fat from cheese, they add other things to improve the flavor. Your body also needs fat to burn fat, so it’s important to have healthy fat in your diet. Cheese also is high in protein, which is also filling. One study in Australia found that people who increased the amount of dairy eaten, which included cheese, also lost more weight than the control group who didn’t increase it.

Not all cheese is the same.

Some types of cheese are healthier and better for weight loss. You might not immediately think of cottage cheese when you think of cheese, but it’s a good source of protein and good for dieting. Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese is a healthy cheese that’s also good for diets. Feta cheese is another good option and naturally low in fat, but high in protein. Goat cheese, gouda, blue cheese and cheddar are also good.

  • No matter what type of cheese you choose, be aware of portion size. One ounce of hard cheese is the size of a pair of dice. A half cup of cottage cheese or ¼ C feta contains almost the same calories but is more filling.
  • One of the biggest problems with cheese is often how it served, like on top of a pizza or burger. It’s more the burger and pizza that are blocking your weight loss efforts.
  • Cheese offers many health benefits. It’s a good source of amino acids, Vitamins B2, B12, D and A, and omega-3 fatty acids. It’s even better if it’s from grass-fed cows, since that cheese contains nutrients that boost your metabolism.
  • You can actually use cheese to lose weight by using it as a replacement for higher calorie options. For instance, replacing mayo with cream cheese or substituting cottage cheese for whipped cream with fruit.

For more information, contact us today at Team Worx

What You Don't Know About OTC Vitamins

What You Don’t Know About OTC Vitamins

I encourage people to eat healthy and live a healthy lifestyle, which includes exercise. Some clients at Team Worx Fitness in Alexandria, VA, have asked me if OTC vitamins—over the counter vitamins—offer benefits. It’s easy to understand how you might think they help, since Americans purchase over millions of dollars worth each year, and even more if you include other types of supplements. Is it really healthy or is it just good advertising that drives those sales?

Supplements may not offer the benefits you hoped.

There are three studies recently completed at John Hopkins that looked into whether supplements were beneficial or not. They were all large, with the biggest study following 450,000 people. That large study showed OTC multivitamins didn’t reduce the risk for cancer or heart disease. The same was true of one of the smaller, yet significant studies. The last smaller study, which had only 5947 subjects, looked at multivitamins use and the potential for reducing mental decline. The study followed these people for 12 years and found they didn’t have any effect.

OTC products may not be bioavailable.

No matter how dedicated you are to taking your vitamins, your body may not get the benefits. That’s because it can’t absorb the nutrients it offers. Even if it’s a pure form of the vitamin, your body may not be able to use it because it’s not bioavailable. Lots of things determine bioavailability. How quickly the vitamin breaks down is one. If it breaks down too easily, it doesn’t have a long shelf life, but if it has a longer shelf life, you may find it in your toilet amidst the corn and peanuts that also don’t digest. Some drugs taken with vitamins limit their availability and some forms of the vitamin do too.

Taking too much of anything is not necessarily a good thing.

If you’re taking high doses of a vitamin, it can be toxic. While it may not kill you, if you take more vitamin C than you need, you’ll end up with diarrhea and urine rich in vitamin C. The real dangers come with fat soluble vitamins, like vitamin E, D or A. High amounts of vitamin E increase the risk of stroke. People who smoke and take high amounts of vitamin A or beta-carotene may increase the risk of lung cancer.

  • Taking calcium supplements, particularly if you’re a senior, may actually be dangerous. It can cause calcium to build up in artery walls. You’re better off doing weight bearing exercises to help prevent osteoporosis.
  • Taking multivitamins and thinking you’ve got your basis covered is just as dangerous. You need many of the phytonutrients to work in synergy for more effective benefits or even any benefits at all.
  • Not all forms of the vitamin are bioavailability, meaning it doesn’t allow your system to use it. Many of the vitamin forms used in multivitamins are less expensive, but also less effective and harder to break down.
  • Some vitamins may be important. For instance, vitamin D is extremely important, but many people have a deficiency, since they get little sun and it’s hard to get in food. Always ask your health care professional before you start taking any supplements.
  • For more information, contact us today at Team Worx

Will Working Out Help My Depression?

Will Working Out Help My Depression?

Whether you’ve lost a job, a loved one or had any other rough spot in the road, depression is natural. In most cases, it’s short-lived or relatively mild. For those cases of depression, working out can help. However, for severe depression that keeps you in bed, not willing to continue, you need professional help. Even if you’re getting professional help, exercising may provide an adjunct therapy and is often used instead of medication by counselors.

Stress hormones can create stress and stress can create depression.

When you’re under stress, the fight or flight response is triggered. However, it was meant to handle the stress that occurs when a wild animal or warring tribe is the threat. It wasn’t meant for the stress that comes from a job loss. Fight or flight prepares your body to run or fight, neither of which are suitable in most cases. When you don’t burn off the hormones of stress that prepare the body, it can lead to anxiety and depression. Exercise helps you do that and even triggers the production of hormones that make you feel good. It increases the potential for neurogenesis, which is part of the process for creating new brain cells. That can help prevent mental decline.

Strength training can help build the body and also help relieve the brain.

Several studies show that using strength training can provide benefits to reduce depression. One study was of stroke survivors, who often suffer from depression. When the group studied did strength training for ten weeks, they had a significant improvement in the signs of depression. Scientists hypothesized that some of it was attributed to the feeling of control gained through strength training. The also added that getting more control improved their mood, while minimizing anxiety.

You’ll improve your circulation.

Aerobic exercise, especially when it’s vigorous, gets your blood circulating. Studies show that vigorous aerobic workouts are probably the best for fighting depression. It may not even have to be that vigorous, but requires constant movement, like a long walk. The more intense the aerobic exercise, the more endorphins and other happy hormones are released. Those hormones act like natural morphine to deal with pain, but they also give you a sense of well-being that can lift your spirits and minimize depression.

  • Less strenuous movements, like the slow movements of tai chi or yoga, not only improve your flexibility, they also can reduce depression according to many studies.
  • If you find yourself depressed, but aren’t ready for a formal workout, take a walk or turn on happy music and dance. If the song is happy and motivational, the combination of movement and lyrics can provide relief.
  • One of the biggest problems that occur with depression, is that you don’t feel like doing anything, especially exercise. If that’s the case, force yourself to go for a walk and increase your walking speed and distance bit by bit.
  • Severe depression is a serious problem. Don’t delay getting the help of a professional. You can add exercise to your program even if you’re working with a professional. If you have a bad day, you can always exercise a little extra or get out your walking, dancing or running shoes and start moving.

For more information, contact us today at Team Worx