I was sitting in a graduate-level psychology class once upon a time when I heard a jaw-dropping fact – if you walk 20 minutes a day, the anti-depressive effects of that walk will equal any, I repeat ANY, antidepressant on the market today.
The professor saw the class’s incredulity and proceeded to show scholarly study after scholarly study where this was proven out.
Now, the truly amazing part is that when you combine walking, with an antidepressant and talk therapy, you definitely have the most powerful tool to combat depression.
Wow! Double wow!
However, in this post, I’m concentrating on the walking part of this equation.
It is a fact that diabetes and depression are often highly correlated. They go along with each other. They are passengers in the same car, so to speak.
Mayo Clinic puts it this way in a section on their website:
“If you have diabetes — either type 1 or type 2 — you have an increased risk of developing depression. And if you’re depressed, you may have a greater chance of developing type 2 diabetes. The good news is that diabetes and depression can be treated together. And effectively managing one can have a positive effect on the other.”
I come from a family that has major depression in parts of the ancestral family tree. I can state with confidence that exercise – walking 20 minutes a day or a similar activity – can beat back depression to where it no longer threatens you but is more of a footnote to your life. Using this formula, I have successfully kept depression locked up for decades and that has greatly profited my diabetes.
“In people who are depressed, neuroscientists have noticed that the hippocampus in the brain—the region that helps regulate mood—is smaller. Exercise supports nerve cell growth in the hippocampus, improving nerve cell connections, which helps relieve depression,” explains Dr. Michael Miller of Harvard Medical School.
Start with 5 minutes of walking and this will turn into 10 minutes then 15 minutes and the progression will continue.
You will notice that your depressive tendencies start to get better. You will notice that your mood might become a little brighter.
Hey, if you have the diabetes blues, get off the couch and out your front door today and walk. It’s like killing two birds with one stone.
Your diabetes and depression will be immensely helped.
(Editor’s note: I need your help in gaining readership for this blog … if this blog is helpful to you, could you share it with someone and ask them to follow it? I truly think this blog fills a niche in diabetes management, targeting those diabetics who loathe exercise, in other words, diabetics like me)
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