Monday, October 30, 2006

Jogging

I'm getting addicted to the jogging I started about 2 months ago. It's slowly becoming the highlight of my day.

I listened to a podcast on depression recently and this psychiatrist was saying how everybody thinks that there are 2 principle methods to treat major depression: Medication and Therapy. Well actually, he said, there is a third: EXERCISE.

The reason we don't hear about the third is that, being the cheapest option, there are no huge corporate agendas out there promoting it. I mean, all you need is a pair of 100 buck running shoes (about one session's worth of therapy, or one month's worth of meds). As my therapist Dr C said about 3 years back: "Exercise is psychiatry's best kept secret".

Funny thing is, about 6 years ago when I used to jog early in the mornings on Durban beachfront, I'd often see my psychiatrist pounding the pavement in running shorts and shoes. A confirmed "insider". I'd greet him, and he'd mumble something back but it was evident that he was totally consumed in his run, lapping up all the pulsating endorphines.

Yeah, it makes sense. Looking back on my life there have been good years and bad years. And the one glaring common denominator of the all the good years is that those were the years when I was fit and doing regular aerobic exercise.

But this is all theory and analysis. The most real and tangible part is how I feel everyday when my heart is pounding, my chest is pumping and coated in beads of sweat and the cool morning air is brushing my face. And the warm afterglow and tingle when I'm done. You'd better watch
out Mr Depression, I'm eating away at you every day!

Tip: Start really slowly and only 5 minutes a day. So slowly that you actually try and see how slowly you can go without disqualifying it as a "jog". After a few weeks build up to about 20 minutes a day. ANYBODY can do it! And don't give me that bullshit that you can't afford 5 minutes a day - those 5 minutes could be the most important 5 minutes of you BiPolar life.

10 comments:

  1. truer words were never spoken.

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  2. i concur! it was the only thing that pulled me out of the 14 months suicidal depression i sunk in after my wife dumped me.

    sadly, i injured my back in april and i used that as an excuse to stop going to the gym and swimming and i've been pretty much depressed since. also gained 10 lbs.

    so yeah, i must get back out there, but fuk it's so goddam hard! as an excuse, i'm thinkin' i'll just sit around until my next mania comes to the rescue, that always brings so much energy that i'll be excercising 1 hour in the morning and 1 hour before bed as well.

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  3. THE most POSITIVE statement of single minded endeavour to tackle depression head on. I am certain that if everyone jogged, had the sun greet them as it came up over the horizon, depression would be left in the comfort of its bed. On that note I am off to have my first jog in 5 years.

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  4. The high impact nature of running takes it's toll on my improperly-healed broken foot, but walking is a good substitute and I usually feel elated after a good half-hour on my bicycle.

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  5. the impermanent bloRg is now here. weird story.

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  6. You are so right, Bipolar Guy! When I force myself onto the treadmill or to the gym I feel so good! Thanks for the encouragement!

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  7. Yup, I agree... whenever I walk to the liquor store I always feel better.

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  8. True indeed, I've been jogging for a lil. over a month now, and I tell you guys the more I'm out there jogging the more addictive is getting. The funny thing is when I first started, I could'nt surpass the half mile mark, after 3 weeks I still could'nt surpass that half mile mark. So being discouraged I contemplated quitting however, I searched on the internet about jogging strategies and read that starting slowly and gradually is the key to progression. The next day I went out there did 3 miles without any problems, so I agree with bipolar guy on starting slowly, and how addictive it can be when your body starts getting use to it. Although I'm not bipolar, I'm glad to know that jogging can also help others with depression. Jog on!

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  9. "Jogging"

    We've all been there. The exercise high and lows when you finally realize that you ARE AVOIDING WHAT IS REALLY BOTHERING YOU BY WORKING OUT STRENOUSLY!

    Go ahead and hate me for bringing it to your attention that mild exercise is not enough for you!

    Go ahead and hate for bringing it to your attention that you most likely work out instead of dealing with people, writing in a diary, praying, meditating, etc.

    I've been there--THE SECOND YOU CALM YOUR MIND AND LISTEN TO YOUR THOUGHTS DO YOU FEEL CRAZY?

    Because eventually you're going to get a kick in the ass "injury" and have to deal with what is really bothering you!

    I know you hate me for bringing that to your attention--but how many times have each of you had a pulled muscle, strains, sprains, back problems?

    Is something larger than yourself trying to tell you something?

    If you are angry at me for bringing this to your attention ask yourself why get mad at an anonymous person over the Internet?

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