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EXERCISE AND DEPRESSION

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As a personal trainer and someone who has struggled with depression in the
past I cannot begin to explain how much exercise has helped me
personally.

Depression is so common and is affecting more and more women every
single year. Sometimes I think this might have a lot to do with the way
we live our lives and the growing rate of obesity and general lack of
activity.

In my job I get to deal with a variety of people and am lucky enough
to realise how common depression is and that it’s something we
shouldn’t be ashamed of but instead talking about and working on ways to
improve our day to day lives and how we deal it.

It seems these days the first step for many people when it comes to
depression is medication. Obviously this does help but is by no means
the only way to help deal with depression. It is proven that people who
suffer mild or moderate (not severe) depression can benefit just as much
from exercise, good nutrition and counselling. Don’t get me wrong I’m
not against medication as I can see how vital it is in helping people
get out of a dark place although I do believe that there are so many
other areas we can also focus on to help deal with this issue in the
long term.

So why am I writing this, well those close to me would know that I
have suffered from depression on and off for years. I suppose I ended up
becoming a personal trainer because I found that exercise has helped in
my life more than I can begin to explain. Recently I have again found
depression rearing its ugly head and in a time when I am supposed to be
so happy!

Anyone who suffers from depression would know that it’s not
something you can just “snap out of” or “turn off”, sometimes I wish it
was that easy.  What I am learning is that there are definitely things
that I can do to make things better and help with how I deal with it.
For me, I’ve once again realised that exercise has to be a way of life
for me and it’s something I have to do forever!!!

Being pregnant, I have slowly eased back my training as things
haven’t felt quite right and I’m obviously not working out quite as
intensely as I have in the past. For me this has meant that the one
thing that used to keep me feeling great is not really there anymore and
subsequently I’ve started to feel worse and worse as the weeks go by.
My lack of activity, increased junk food and crazy hormones have been
enough to see me slowly get back into a place where I don’t really want
to be. Obviously it’s hard for me to write about as I honestly try and
be a really positive person, although there are some times where that
just isn’t enough. So for me it’s meant it’s time to take action as I’m
scared to death that if I’m feeling like this now how I’m going to be
once bubs is born. I always thought I might be prone to Post Natal
depression but had no idea that it could happen during pregnancy (I
might be one of the only Mums at Post natal depression groups with bubs
still in my tummy, he, he, don’t worry I can still laugh at myself!)

So anyway after a few weeks tough weeks I’m feeling better as I have
taken some vital steps needed to get me back to feeling good.

– Back to regular exercise, at least one form of activity each day,
this might be a walk, rpm class or some weights. Anything that keeps me
active and even better if it gets me out in the sunshine and fresh air.

– Cut out the crap, the excess sugar has to go as it really doesn’t help.

– See someone who specialises in depression during & after
pregnancy and learn tools to help me deal with it all a bit better.

– Stay social

– Talk to those closest to me and appreciate them for just listening (thanks to my wonderful hubby for putting up with me).

So I’m getting there and feeling so much better for just taking the
necessary steps. It would be easy to say I’m ok now but I know that if I
want to change forever, spending some time working on myself will be
worth every single minute.

I think it’s good to realise things can ALWAYS get better but if we
want it to happen we have to do something about it. So wether you are
depressed or just unhappy with how you are, realise you can make things
better but ONLY you can make it happen. Find a support network, get a
plan and focus on small steps each day.

So what positive things are you going to look forward to today?

I’m off to rpm because I know it will make me feel great……

Have a fabulous weekend everyone.

Luv, Hilds

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