Today, depression affects over 300 million individuals around the globe. This accounts approximately 4.4% of the world’s total a poulation. But a recent study has a non-invasive and simple solution, stay fit during middle age.
When Does Middle Age Starts and Ends?
You might be wondering if you are already in the middle age bracket. So, what age exactly is considered middle age? The Telegraph reports one study that says youth ends at 35 and old age begins at 58. Therefore, the age between this bracket is the middle age.
In this study, the researchers led by Dr. Madhukar Trivedi analyzed data from approximately 18,000 individuals with an average age of 50.
These 18,000 individuals were part of an ongoing study to determine the role of exercise towards a variety of health consequences. Among the data gathered from the participants include;
- Level of fitness based on their exercise habits
- Diagnoses of depression
- Heart health related problems
- Cause of death where applicable
The good news, this study reports that being physically fit can lower the risk of depression.
Depression doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Especially for people who are older, depression has a complicated relationship with other major medical diseases. -Dr. Madhukar Trivedi
40-Years Worth of Data
This study lasted for nearly half a decade. During the 40-year period follow up, the researchers found people with higher fitness levels have 16% lower risk of developing depression.
These are the people who exercise more and intensely. As they grow older, they have a lower risk of depression. Moreover, participants in the higher fitness group have 61% lower risk of death due to heart disease.
And, those who were diagnosed with depression during the course of the study have 56% lower risk of developing heart problems. All the people in the higher fitness group have all these benefits than those with lower fitness levels.
Clearly, regular exercise plays a significant role not only during the present age but at later years, as well. In fact, studies show that seniors who are exercising regularly have better motor skills.
In another study, regular exercise shows it can help boosts memory function. However, don’t wait until you reach middle age to start exercising. The earlier you start, the better. Maintaining physical activity is good for the brain.
As a matter of fact, in just 10 days of without exercise, the brain experiences a reduced blood flow.
Nutrition Is The Other Part Of The Equation
Good nutrition and regular physical exercise go hand-in-hand, always. Hence, you better watch out what you are eating. You may be exercising regularly but your effort may just end up in vain.
For instance, avoid consuming a high amount of added sugars. Studies have shown that consuming a high amount of sugar causes depression, particularly in men. Added sugars are really bad for all including children.
Now, there wide varieties or range of products that contain refined or added sugars. Therefore, be aware of these foods including bottled beverages.
Well, you might say, if refined and added sugars are bad, why are they sold openly? The truth, sugar specifically refined sugars are bad. One study discovers how sugar is feeding cancer cells. But, unfortunately, these findings were hidden from the public.
Hence, take your time to educate yourself about refined sugars because they exist in many different names. The more you know about what names these harmful sugars are hiding, the better your chance of avoiding them.
Educate yourself and learn how you can minimize sugar consumption specifically sugars from food products inside an enticing box.
Nutrition Plus Fitness Equals Good Health
If you are healthy, staying physically fit is easy. But don’t focus on one thing either nutrition or exercise. Both play an equally important role in keeping the body healthy and well. For instance, for people who want to lose weight, exercise is essential it releases the hormone irisin that facilitates better weight loss.
Go for high-intensity interval training as this is quick but exercises the entire body without dedicating long hours. For seniors, HIIT helps in building muscles and strength training helps in preserving muscles while in senior years.
When it comes to foods, increase your fruits and vegetable intake. You may not be aware of it but it is one of the best ways to minimize and avoid harmful sugars. Additionally, eating whole foods is beneficial for your gut health.
On the other hand, if you don’t have any idea how to start a healthy diet, try the depression-fighting diet, which is the DASH diet. It helps your brain in producing the happy chemicals such as dopamine and serotonin.