Monday, April 05, 2010

The Definitive Number One Anti-Depressant


As simple as that. I've know it for a long time - all the clues were always there:

  • One of my better therapists once said "excersise is psychiatry's best kept secret" And I've heard it said subsequently.
  • My PDoc of many years used to run like a wild fanatic. He was totally addicted to it.
  • I listened to a podcast some time ago about a psychiatrist that had a few marathon runner clients and how he noticed their depression levels fluctuate with their training. Eg. the one guy got an injury and had to stop training and his depression rocketed. The PDoc plotted it all out and got scientific correlations
But the best clue is how I feel right now. I've been running consistently for about 4 months now. A very slow jog for about 20 minutes for the first 3 months. And now I've started upping the pace and distance and introducing a few hills - and I'm feeling fantastic.

I've already started losing weight too, and its starting to accelerate. After all the studies I've read about how ineffectual excerise is compared to diet, I wasn't really expecting to lose weight. After all, the kilojoules of a half hour run are completely negated by one slice of pizza. But that's too simplistic an approach. Here's how running works for my weight loss:
  •  One of my biggest issues with depression is my lack of energy. It affects everything, my work, my social life, my family life. Low energy levels = low activity = weight gain. As I've got fitter my energy levels have definitely increased. Suddenly you stay up later at night, and you find yourself moving around a lot more during the day. 
  • Feeling down -> have a gorge. On happy days I can go all day without a meal. But when I'm down theres only 2 things I can do - Eat & Sleep. And I make sure I do them well. As I've said running improves your happiness levels without doubt. So when you run - you spend less days down and less time at the fridge. 
So running works in a more round about way. Its not as simplistic as calories burned subtracted from claories consumed. But in the long run (accidental pun) I reckon the round-about way is more effective.

I used to be very fit when i was younger. And now I'm getting fit again. And I've made a vow never to get unfit again. Ever. I'm planning to run a half marathon soon and a full marathon in the future.

I've just joined a great website . You can see the widget in the right bar of this blog. It keeps track of every run I do. So if you see my runs slacking off, please, I BEG OF YOU - give me a shouting at.


  1. I find the same thing with exercise. Had an injury, ended up in the worst depression of my life. It's not that exercise makes the depression go away for me, it just makes me feel better about who I am.

  2. WillBeFine05 April, 2010

    The importance of exercise I have promoted for many a year to others and myself. The best I have ever felt is after completing 5000km cycling over 5 weeks and losing 15kg in the process. The only drawback is you have to be aware of is "zipping". You energy levels push your mind further than it should.

    Now I cycle a total of 1.5 hours on my daily commute to work and back. I feel more alert and think clearer and want to feed more exercise into my body instead of food.

    Congratulations on your dedicated passion. I, along with many others will become your personal trainer and motivator.

    Sometimes it’s gonna rain. Keep going. The rain always stops, eventually.

  3. I agree. That's why I joined the website. Time for me to get moving...:)


Recent Posts