How to Nix the Winter Blues in 10 Minutes Flat
The winter blues can be brutal, but we’ve got good news! We recently tuned into Broken Brain, a docuseries by Dr. Mark Hyman, and learned that exercise is as good as, or better than, antidepressants in treating depression. Not only does exercise play a key role in physical health by preventing heart disease, helping with weight and so much more — in an MRI, movement literally lights up the brain. Just 10 minutes of exercise fires up neurons, automatically making you feel happier and more energized.
According to Dr. Hyman, less than 8% of Americans get the recommended dose of exercise daily, which is unfortunate, because vigorous exercise just three times per week is a better treatment for depression than most anti-depression drugs on the market today.
As Dr. Gabrielle Lyon, DO, a guest on the Broken Brain series, puts it — “If you keep your muscle healthy, your brain will be healthy.” Dr. Lyon explains that muscle is an endocrine organ, so when you use resistance training, your muscle secretes things like growth factor (necessary for cell development) and BDNF (Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor ). This helps nourish and rejuvenate the brain and can cross the blood-brain barrier, so not only training your muscles, but regenerating your brain to make you feel happier and healthier in both the body and mind.
Bottom line: getting your HSM on three times a week or more will help save you from seasonal sadness. Especially during these months when it’s easy to start feeling the cold weather blues, we like to schedule our exercise like we would doctor’s appointments because our workouts are just as, if not more, important!