Improve Your Mood With Good Nutrition & Exercise

image courtesy of Witthaya Phonsawat at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

image courtesy of Witthaya Phonsawat at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Depression is difficult for anyone to deal with and your doctor can prescribe medicines or herbs to help in your battle against this debilitating condition.   Studies have shown that exercise and certain nutrients can help with the effectiveness of these medications.   Below are a few helpful tips to start you on your way to happier, more energetic days!

First be sure to eat at least 3 balanced meals and a couple of snacks throughout the day.  This will help to maintain your energy levels and keep your blood sugar from dipping too low.

Low calorie diets can reek havoc on your mood!   Dropping below 1,000 calories per day will reduce your intake of tryptophan, an amino acid needed to produce serotonin.  Lower serotonin increases depression.

Omega 3’s can also help to reduce depression.   You’ll find this in cold water fish (Salmon), soybeans, walnuts, flaxseed, and eggs fortified with omega 3.

Cut back on caffeine.  This will interfere with sleep and can increase anxiety

Eat GOOD carbohydrates.   We’re not talking about white bread, and sugary snacks here!  Get a good serving or two of brown rice, whole grain bread or cereals, fruits and lots of veggies.  This will increase your serotonin levels; strive for 130g per day.

Exercise Daily!!   Any exercise at all.  It doesn’t have to be lifting weights, or a 45-minute cardio session.   Going for a walk, gardening, a bike ride, any movement at all helps to alleviate stress.   A cardio workout that gets you into your target zone (use your heart rate monitor!) will release endorphins; a peptide occurring in the brain tissue that acts like an opiate and increases the pain threshold.

Eating right and exercise can help in dealing with depression but you do need to see your doctor and get support from family and friends as well as a professional.

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15 thoughts on “Improve Your Mood With Good Nutrition & Exercise

  1. rozbeads

    Good information. Sometimes it is hard to get a depressed person out walking or to eat well. They have to be willing to help themselves. I see your tips as good guidelines to avoid depression.

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  2. bodysoulcoaches Post author

    I completely agree. A lot of times people who are depressed need medication to get them to the point of wanting to help themselves but studies have shown that these medications work better when combined with exercise and a healthy diet.

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  3. Holly Jean

    I am a caffeine addict and now try not to have a cup past 10 AM! I definitely see the effects of exercise on overall happiness and hate missing days in the gym or running around with my daughter. Good tips!

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  4. theresarose

    I’ve always found taking a walk improves my mood dramatically. There’s nothing better than getting out in the fresh air to get energized.

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  5. Beth Blacker

    I try so hard to maintain balance and always know when I am not eating well or exercising enough. I feel sluggish and while I wouldn’t say I get depressed it definitely doesn’t feel good. Fortunately I recognize it rather quickly and get back on track.

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  6. bodysoulcoaches Post author

    That;s Beth. I think everyone can slip skipping workouts and grabbing quick meals that aren’t necessarily nutritious. The key is in doing exactly what you are doing: catch it quickly and turn it around! Good job!

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  7. Clive

    A very useful post. It’s important to remember these things because often when people do suffer from depression they don’t look after their bodies or take sufficient exercise.

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    1. bodysoulcoaches Post author

      Absolutely Jackie! I’ve always been one that ‘has to move’ in order to keep sane. If I spend a day sitting at my desk, I’m quite stressed by the end of the day.

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  8. Vicky

    I agree it’s important to eat well and exercise daily. I enjoy going for my daily walks.. it clears my head and allows me to be more creative when I get back to my office.

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