Exercise as it relates to Disease/Resistance Exercise and its effects on Depression
Meditative jogging also helps to lower the activities of brain Stressors thereby improving mood.
Depression is a condition that affects one in five Australians between 16- 85. There are varying degrees of depression ranging from very mild to clinically depressed individuals that cannot even manage to get out of bed and many even have suicidal thoughts. Generally depression does not result from a single event, and whilst the exact cause is not known, a combination of recent events and other longer-term or personal factors are usually associated with its development. There are many treatment options available for individuals with depression with exercise being a commonly used form or treatment that has shown to be very effective.
Signs and Symptoms of Depression
- Lowered self Esteem (self-worth) 
- Changes in sleep patterns, insomnia or broken sleep
- Changes in appetite or weight
- Lowered energy levels
- Reduced capacity to experience pleasure
- Decreased sex drive
- Decreased motivation
- Poor concentration
Types of Treatment
There are numerous treatments for individuals affected by depression, however the main forms of treatment are:
• Psychological 
- Cognitive Behaviour therapy (CBT)
- Interpersonal therapy
- Mindfulness therapy
• Medication 
- Anti- depressants
• Exercise 
• Family/Friend support
How Exercise affects the brain
The mechanisms responsible for exercise-related improvements in depression are not all known, studies have hypothesized that it is most likely to be a complex interaction of psychological and neurobiological mechanisms underlying, mediating and/or moderating these effects.
- Exercise stimulates the release of endorphins within approximately 30 minutes from the start of activity which assists in mood enhancement 
- Exercise activates molecular and cellular cascades that support and maintain brain plasticity
- Promotes brain vascularization, neurogenesis (or the creation of new neurons), functional changes in neuronal structure and neuronal resistance to injury.
What is Resistance Exercise/Training
Resistance Training is exercise that requires the body's musculature to work against or move an opposing weight or force. Resistance or strength training includes free weights, machines, resistance bands or body weight exercises. Generally when commencing resistance exercise it is categorised as a moderate intensity type of exercise, which is often the type of exercise recommended by health experts for those suffering depression, however it can also be a vigorous intensity type exercise and included as part of high intensity circuit type training.
Effect of Resistance Exercise on Depression
Data from observational studies consistently demonstrate that physical activity is associated with reduced symptoms of depression. Research indicates that both aerobic and resistance exercise can have positive effect on individuals suffering from depression and whilst the general consensus among health professionals is that as long as an individual is participating in some form of moderate to vigorous exercise there is evidence of positive effects from resistance training on individuals affected by depression in the form of:
- Reduces sensitivity to stress
- Improved self esteem
- Improved strength
- Anti-depressive and anxiolytic effects
- Increases endogenous opioid activity in the peripheral and central nervous system
Exercise recommendations would be dependent on the individuals medical history and if they have any other contraindications to exercise, however for an a individual with no other known health issues,the Australian Department of Health recommends that adults aged between 18 - 64 follow the following guidelines in relation to exercise.
|Duration (per week)||150mins (2.5hrs)||75mins (1.25hrs)|
The exercise type or intensity refers to how hard your body is working during physical activity.
Moderate exercise is defined as physical activity that burns between 3 - 6 METs (Metabolic equivalents) and Vigorous exercise is defined as physical activity that burns more than 6 METs. A MET or Metabolic Equivalent is the unit used to measure how much energy the body uses during a particular activity.
Physical activity Australia also recommends that individuals participate in strengthening/resistance activities on at least 2 days each week 
Beyond Blue - www.beyondblue.com.au
Lifeline Australia - Ph: 13 11 14
Blackdog Institute - www.blackdoginstitute.org.au
Department of Health - www.health.gov.au
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