How to “Physically” Beat Depression


I want to start off by thanking Kid Cudi, while I recognized his genius from the first time I heard “Pursuit of Happiness” last week he penned a touching letter to us about his health. It made some of us happy(for him), some of us cry for him, and some of us pray for him. But the most important thing this letter did was open up a much needed conversation in the black community about mental Health. And while still taboo, it was good to see. 
Being black in America alone is a large part of the Depression and anxiety we face daily, now try adding the stigmas, cultural pressure, cops, and even Sallie Mae to this pot.. we almost feel hopeless at times. 

With all this happening, it got me thinking, health/fitness and mental health are synonymous and while I love talking about coconut oil and sugar in fruits I realized that I can’t ignore the importance of my own mental health along with yours. So with that being said, let’s cover some of the best workouts to do to help with depression and anxiety… I figured I’d help how I can. 

1) Running. 

All our lives we’ve heard that running is the best workout you can actual do, it’s ability to reduce cravings, burn calories, and lose weight is almost second to none. And while this is true. Running also has positive effects on mental health. This workout can cause lasting changes in our ‘feel good’ neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine, both during and after exercise. The mental benefits can be especially powerful for people who suffer from depression. Researchers also found evidence that running can work in a similar way to antidepressants, alleviating major depressive disorder by promoting the growth of new neurons in the brain.

So wether you’re running away from cops or in a 5k… it’s healthy. 

2) Hiking. 

If you find your self near the waters of lake Minnetonka and the beautiful mountains around it, take a hike. Studies say that being around plants, trees, and especially decaying trees can help reduce anxiety because these plants emit chemicals to slow down the process of their decay, which appears to slow us down as well. Along with higher memory function, according to research done in 2009 people who (nature) walk at-least 20mins are said to have lower stress hormone levels and even felt less anxious. Who would have known, if you want to be healthy, do white people stuff. 
3) Yoga:

Personally I go to yoga for pretty women and to be more flexible but I can’t deny that every visit left me feeling mentally better than I was when I came in. Due to findings that yoga reduces depression, anger, anxiety, and neurotic symptoms. In 2007 it was listed clinically as a method to treating depression( literally). 

This is attributed to the deep breathing, and center of self awareness. It’s very hard to feel down when you get to be in a quiet space were you can slow your heart rate, breathing patterns down… all while watching people stretch. 

4) Weight lifting/cardio @ your local gym
This is really simple, hence why it’s last there’s a study that links to an Improved self-esteem as key psychological benefit of regular physical activity. When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. These endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain that reduce your perception of pain. Endorphins also trigger a positive feeling in the body, similar to that of morphine… I understand drug users now. 
Honorable mention: 
A List of some other specific workouts you can do: 

Golfing 

Low-impact aerobics

Playing tennis

Swimming

A lot of irony some of these sports, seeing that a lot of them aren’t in “every”community. This again speaks to the black experience. 

Hopefully this list helps you.. yes, YOU. You’re not alone in this fight. We all struggle and while talking about it might not be easy. Finding a space to allow your body to control your mind for a while, can help.
Trust me, I know. 

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