For most of us, the majority of our time is spent working, with little time leftover to relax or pursue personal passions. Understanding this, it should be no surprise that most people have trouble finding time to exercise every day. Add clinical depression to the mix, and not only does exercise take a back seat…but so do personal passions, hobbies, relationships, careers and self-care. While studies have shown exercise to be an effective way to fight off the symptoms of depression, being depressed usually leaves people feeling lethargic and unmotivated—wholly disinterested in doing anything physical.
Regardless, two researchers from the University of Santa Maria in Brazil recently took it upon themselves to evaluate the specific benefits that exercise has on different types of people from different backgrounds. According to their research, exercise effectively elevated the moods of 267,000 people—both clinically depressed and non-depressed. In another review—which made the benefits of exercise even more obvious—an average of 45% of the participants who were depressed experienced a significant reduction of depressive symptoms through exercise. Despite these findings, the two researchers were disappointed to learn that exercise was not as widely prescribed as antidepressant medications. To them, “exercise ought to be more seriously considered and prescribed in treatment protocols, in the same way that talk therapy and medications…are.”
However, even with these findings, those who are already suffering from depression may find it difficult to find the motivation and the energy to start exercising. This common symptom, which plagues so many depressed patients, can lead to an even deeper depression. When this happens, often the best course of action is to apply pharmaceutical intervention. While most may think this means using traditional antidepressants, like Prozac, there are other highly-effective pharmaceutical options available when these traditional antidepressant medications fail. Ketamine infusions are widely available across the country, and offer rapid relief of depressive symptoms in up to 70% of patients.
Ketamine infusions can deliver relief in as few as 1-2 infusions. While the media portrayal of ketamine for depression may make it seem like a wonder drug that immediately flips the depression switch, it’s more like a subtle lifting of the fog of depression. Patients discover that they are no longer lethargic—they are more willing to engage in healthy self-care and other activities to support their mental health. Like exercise…
And by re-engaging in exercise and these other healthy activities, patients further improve their mental health. It’s a beautiful path to health and happiness.
However, nearly 18% of people who start exercising eventually stop doing it completely. This is likely due to a misunderstanding of the expectations they have from the activity. A large reason why exercise—or any new hobby—is effective for beating the blues is because of the redirection of focus it requires. Successfully redirecting our minds to focus on a new, more productive activity earns ourselves an emotional pat on the back—it makes us proud of ourselves. By keeping our minds on a new activity, we spend less time and less energy focusing on our more painful or destructive behaviors. In the long run, this makes us happier and healthier. Once that pat-on-the-back mentality fades, however, so too does the habit itself.
On a more positive note, the other 82% of people manage to find an exercise routine that they can stick to—and it works! Progress is possible, even if you have to start over every day. To become part of this majority of people who stick to their exercise regimens, find a form of exercise you enjoy. You don’t have to hit the gym for an hour every day. Take a walk after dinner, go for a bike ride, kayak on a scenic lake, take a class at the local rock climbing gym…the options are endless!
Contact Vitalitas Denver
Vitalitas Denver is one of the country’s most trusted ketamine clinics—since 2015, we have performed thousands of ketamine infusions, and changed countless lives for the better. Our Colorado ketamine clinics are located in Denver and the Boulder/Fort Collins areas. If you are curious about the benefits of ketamine and think you may be a candidate, please contact us using the brief form below. A member of our highly experienced clinical team will contact you to answer your questions and point you in the right direction!