“You can’t be sad on a jet-ski” is a well know statement but does the medical science agree with it?
Of course, exercise or other things that pump adrenaline are not a substitute for seeing a therapist, and we are not saying that if you go jet skiing things will magically get better and you’ll wake up as a new person without the old problems. We know that’s not how depression works.
Yet, when you do things, especially things that are out of your comfort zone, your focus changes. You might not feel it or think about it at the moment, but your mind steps away from the issues because it is too busy concentrating on the things that get your adrenaline pumping. And if you manage to get that feeling more often, with time the feeling of hopelessness will start to fade.
Many studies show that exercise is an effective treatment for depression and for some people works the same as antidepressants.
In addition, it will help you get in shape and get a leaner body.
The effect of exercise on depression
Using exercise to relieve depression is not a newly developed concept.
Exercise not only increases blood flow to the brain and sharpens your memory, it also releases endorphins and serotonin, which are directly connected to a better mood.
There are a lot of studies in which exercise outperformed medication. Why? The philosophy behind it is the new person you are becoming and the new mindset you are developing each day by exercising. People who beat depression by exercising boost their self worth and confidence each day through the “small wins” after every workout. The dedication and success is an empowerment that cannot be easily shattered.
Of course, major depression is not that easily managed. However, antidepressants work best when you combine them with exercise and other healthy lifestyle choices, which you can find plenty of examples of how to do that from all over the internet.
Physical vs. Psychological changes
When it comes to exercise, we often focus on the physical benefits that come with it like a flat tummy or great legs, and the motivation behind it is to get smaller or bigger. Except, being active is not only great for your body, but for your mind as well. Taking the right steps to keep your body and your mind in good condition, will improve your sleep, relationships, overall health and lead to a better life.
Your brain on exercise
- Exercise positively affects the same neurotransmitters that medications target.
- Endorphins, which work as your body’s natural antidepressant, are produced while exercising.
- Cortisol, the stress hormone, is reduced, alleviating anxiety and depression symptoms.
- Calms muscle tension, which can cause insomnia and soreness.
Your mind on exercise
- Exercising forces you to hold your focus on something else than the negative things.
- Setting up goals and accomplishing them helps build confidence, allowing you to feel less helpless.
- Exercising can serve as a coping mechanism and help you find the part of you that wants to be healthy.
Why jet skiing is the perfect way to start?
It may sound like a simple decision, but when it comes down to it, getting out of bed and go exercise feels impossible. Especially when you know it is not a onetime fix, and those feelings of worthlessness and life without purpose, would not just go away. It might take weeks to feel the benefits of regular exercise.
That is why jet skiing is the perfect starting point.
It’s impossible not to feel good after spending a day doing adrenaline filled activities with your friends at the beach, all while burning calories like in a regular gym session.
Although it might require some regulations, you can enjoy jet skiing no matter what shape, size or age you are.
Driving a jet ski will make you forget about your worries and focus on maintaining a balance on the water. Being a great stress-reliever itself, jet skiing also gets you out in the sun, increasing your serotonin and vitamin D levels, which will improve your mood significantly. The adrenaline rush will make you feel alive and give you a sense that you live your life more fully.
And last but not least, you’ll get the same benefits as a normal 30 minute workout. It will give you a great cardio, tone your abs, strengthen your arms and legs and improve coordination and endurance. This will undoubtedly increase your self-confidence and self-worth.
How much is enough?
Even though scientists and doctors never confirm the right amount of exercise, a lot of studies show that even light amounts of exercise can bring positive results. At the beginning of your journey to feeling better, a short walk will be enough to increase your energy and boost your mood.
According to a research, only three yoga sessions per week resulted in boosting the participants particular brain chemical, which is directly associated with a better mood and decreased symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Another study, conducted on stressed out women found out that after only three days of a 45-minute intensive workout, their brain cells showed fewer signs of aging which leads to better stress management.
However, this does not mean that you should push yourself to your limits, as overtraining might lead to burnout and you will end up being stuck in the same situation as you were before starting.
Perhaps, like all things in life, the answer lies in moderation.