Out of the numerous treatments against depression, one reveals to be the most efficient. Getting a high from a workout is the best medicine that goes along with the fight against depression.
Without getting into intricate medical terminologies, people suffering from depression have a confused neurosystem where the role of their neurotransmitters is jeopardized, causing the mood to become less stable. (source: http://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/what-causes-depression)
In order to smooth out the journey of chemical flows necessary for a fresh temper, there are a number of natural remedies that can be found while doing certain types of sports, especially team workouts with a combination of aerobic exercises and resistance training such as CrossFit.
Endorphins are the most efficient pain killer, after morphine, for the body and mind. After usually thirty minutes of intense cardio exercises the brain cells produce endorphins, triggering a positive emotional state and the impression that the body is breathing and releasing negativity.
Muscles are vibrating, the heart is pumping and the chemicals in the brain are all agitated, creating euphoria. The body only has 24 hours to enjoy it while it lasts. After this lapse of time, the brain needs to be recharged and the body stimulated to produce a new batch of endorphins.
Working out every day is beneficial for the mind and with a controlled planning of cardio training mixed with lifting sessions, the rate of endorphins is likely to benefit a low mood.
The cognitive benefits of strength training, explosive plyometrics, speed training, Olympic and power style weightlifting, bodyweight exercises, gymnastics, and endurance exercises found in CrossFit has been revealed as varied enough to occupy the brain.
The fact that CrossFit utilizes cross-lateral exercises. (crossing the midline of the body, example touching the right elbow to the left knee) means the brain is crossing the corpus callosum which results in better concentration, blood flow and increases synaptic connections. (source:http://sherryyellin.com/2013/01/why-crossfit-is-good-for-the-brain/)
Turn off the mind for an hour
The beauty of a CrossFit workout is the time it allows the brain to stop thinking, make lists and get lost in tomorrow’s troubles. During an hour there’s not time to think about anything other than the movement techniques, the workout ahead of you, not letting your partner down (and sometimes the coach), counting reps, focusing on pushing harder, becoming a machine.
There is so much to pay attention to that the mind eventually disconnects from day to day tasks and gets into autopilot mode.
Any workout within a community where peers and teammates cheer each other up and pay attention to one another is beneficial for attaining a positive self-image.
CrossFit involves challenges whether it’s at a beginner’s level or more advanced; the search for support and recognition is the same. People want to be acknowledged for all the efforts they are making and that’s what they are getting when they are struggling to finish a workout with all their peers around them, a lot of the time screaming with all their hearts.
To congratulate and give immediate feedback provides a confidence boost which, if repeated every day can lead to a harmonized mood.
This article was published on Soul Rebel Athletics on September 1st 2015