Archive for the ‘Mental Health’ Category


The benefits of exercise are no longer theoretical. All recent studies concerning exercise and its effect on people conclusively state that exercise will help most people live longer and healthier lives. Whether you are young or old, overweight or underweight, or even if you have a disability, exercise will benefit you.

Most of us at any age wish we were more fit. Becoming older doesn’t mean we have to become weaker and more fragile. Most physical changes of aging are due to inactivity and lifestyles that do not include regular exercise. Becoming and staying physically fit is the most important thing we can do to maintain our ability to continue doing the activities we now enjoy. The more fit one is, the more independent one may remain, as well as being happier and more satisfied with life.

It’s truly never too late to begin a fitness program of regular exercise. In this article I would like to list the beneficial reasons of exercising and also give valid reasons for not putting it off any longer.

Reasons to exercise:

  • Live longer. Those who exercise regularly have been proven to add years to their lives.
  • Help to lose weight. Combined with proper diet one will lose weight.
  • Strengthen your heart. A stronger heart pumps blood more efficiently and doesn’t have to beat as fast.
  • Lift your mood. People who exercise tend to be happier and less depressed.
  • Improve chronic conditions. Exercise has been found to lower blood pressure and to improve diabetes and arthritis.
  • Defend against illness. Exercise can boost the immune system and help fight off illness, especially flu and colds.
  • Improve stamina. Exercise can provide more pep and energy and less fatigue.
  • Improve circulation. Exercise can improve our blood cholesterol and help keep our arteries clear.
  • I say so. Just wanted to see if you’re paying attention. I really do exercise, bicycling and swimming, and I feel so much better for doing so.

Overcoming excuses for not exercising:

  • Not enough time. Wake up earlier. Do several shorter periods of exercise throughout the day. Drive less, walk more.
  • Tried it before didn’t work. Set realistic goals. Pace yourself. Reinforce in your mind the benefits of exercise.
  • I might injure myself by exercising. Start with a beginning exercise group. Pace yourself. Consider working with a trainer.
  • It’s too expensive. Joining a gym or having expensive equipment at home would be nice, but are not necessary. Watch an exercise video at home. Try just plain walking or climbing stairs.
  • I’m not athletic. Most people are not particularly athletic. It is not a prerequisite for routine exercise. Anyone can and should exercise.
  • It’s just too much work. If exercise is just too much to do for your own good, then do it for those who love you. They will have you around longer, and will enjoy your health and happiness.

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Depression is a true medical illness, just like having diabetes or high blood pressure. It’s not a weakness, having the blues or something one can just snap out of. Fortunately, like most illnesses, it is treatable through medication and psychotherapy.

Common symptoms of depression include feeling sad, unhappy, irritable or frustrated; a loss of interest in things that usually bring pleasure; feeling worthless; fatigue, excessive sleeping or insomnia; indecisiveness and decreased concentration; and in some cases, thoughts of death, dying or suicide.

Many of us may briefly experience any of the above symptoms, but the person with true depression lives with these symptoms day in and day out.

Some risk factors of depression are having biological relatives who have depression or who have committed suicide and experiencing stressful events, such as the death or loss of a loved one. Women are also at risk, especially after a pregnancy. Other risk factors are serious, chronic illness and abuse of alcohol, drugs or nicotine.

In general, the most effective treatment for depression is a combination of medication and psychotherapy.

There are many types of antidepressant drugs available, and finding the right one may take some trial and error. Antidepressant drugs may take several weeks to take effect.

A patient who experiences undesired side effects should not stop taking the medication without consulting the prescribing doctor. In many cases, one must taper off the drug to avoid withdrawal.

Psychotherapy is provided by a trained and licensed professional, who can help one to understand one’s thoughts and behaviors and guide one in making effective changes. Ideally, this treatment can also provide a regained feeling of hope, happiness and control.

If someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, help is needed immediately. Here’s what needs to be done:

– Contact a family member, friend or clergy member for help.

– Call a suicide hotline number. Our local number is 877-663-5433.

– Seek professional consultation from a doctor or a mental health provider.

If someone you know is on the verge of, or has attempted, suicide, call 911 immediately for professional and rapid help.

Depression is not a weakness; it is a treatable illness. A doctor can help.

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