beat depression By Alane Stieglitz, ND, CNC

Learn How to Beat Depression With Exercise!

Improved self-esteem is a crucial psychological benefit of regular physical activity. When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. These endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain that reduce your perception of pain, which may help reduce symptoms of depression. 

How to Beat Depression with Endorphins

Endorphins also trigger a positive feeling in the body, similar to that of morphine.  For example, the feeling that follows a run or workout is often described as “euphoric.” That feeling is one of the positive side effects of exercise, known as a “runner’s high,” and can be accompanied by a positive, feeling good, and energizing outlook on life. I find that when I spend time walking or running daily with my dog, even if I do not want to, I always feel good when we get back home. 

Endorphins act as analgesics, which means they diminish the perception of pain.  They also act as sedatives which help reduce depression and anxiety. Endorphins are manufactured in your brain, spinal cord, and many other parts of your body and are released in response to brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. The neuron receptors endorphins bind to the same receptors that bind some pain medicines that can sometimes be used to treat depression. 

Unlike morphine, research shows that the activation of these receptors by the body’s endorphins does not lead to addiction or dependence. You have a few neurotransmitters that you experience daily on a low or high. Neurotransmitters can help people overcome depression, have a positive outlook on things, feel joy, focus better and increase feeling good. 

How to Beat Depression with Neurotransmitter

Dopamine is attracted by novelty, logical reasoning, and muscle movement. Dopamine regulates processes that regulate movement, posture, blood pressure, and more! An example of someone living with depression and having low dopamine is if they love playing sports and now they do not want to. Or they enjoyed horseback riding, and now they do not want to. Low dopamine is also found in some people with infections like Lyme, who have a low mood or trouble focusing. 

Serotonin is one of the most popular neurotransmitters since it affects our emotional state. Exercise raises our serotonin levels, improving our balance. Some symptoms of low serotonin are; negative thoughts, crying spells, sadness, irritable bowel, inability to fall asleep. 

Norepinephrine in the sympathetic nervous system stimulates the heart, blood vessels, sweat glands, the large internal organs, and the adrenal medulla in the brain. Like dopamine, norepinephrine stimulates, fosters alertness, and plays an essential regulatory role in long-term memory and learning. Lack of focus and inability to retain information when studying are some symptoms of low norepinephrine. 

Endorphins are your brain’s built-in chemical system that helps us go through the pain and induce mild euphoria. Exercise is the absolute best way for raising our endorphins levels and triggering that feeling of the ‘runners high.”

Regular exercise, which includes deep breathing, has been proven to:

Reduce stress

Ward off anxiety and feelings of depression

Boost self-esteem

Improve sleep

It has been shown that physically active people understand how to beat depression naturally and recover from mild depression more quickly. Physical activity is strongly correlated with good mental health as people age. 

How does our clinic help people beat depression? We run comprehensive labs on people to get answers to specific imbalances and deficiencies. 

Check your neurotransmitters with our easy-to-do urine test! Make sure they are balanced, so you feel your best!

Are you not feeling your best? A comprehensive blood test can answer so many questions!

Let’s make sure your hormones are optimal. Low levels can lead to symptoms of depression and anxiety. 

Need more assistance? Book a one hour virtual wellness appointment.

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Medical disclaimer: Our tests cannot be used to diagnose, treat or cure any disease. All test results are to be used as educational materials and as a guide to help support your overall health and wellness. Always discuss health concerns with your medical doctor.