(LINCOLN, NE December 8, 2011) – ‘Tis the season to be jolly, but for many people holidays trigger the feelings of sadness and depression, rather than comfort and joy.
“You’d think everyone would be happy during this special time of the year, but the fact is that many of us suffer from holiday-related anxiety and stress,” says Matt Scott, a personal trainer at Lincoln Impact Fitness. “Fortunately, there are effective ways to boost our mood so we can enjoy everything the holidays have to offer.”
One of the best blues-busting remedies is physical fitness, which, as research has shown, can be as effective in treating depression as certain medications.
There is plenty of evidence showing that regular exercise improves not only the physical health, but also the sense of emotional well-being, Scott says.
“It is well known that physical activity produces and pumps up the body’s levels of natural “feel-good” chemicals such as endorphins, dopamine, seratonin, and norepinephrine,” he points out. “It also helps release emotional tension and pent-up frustrations, increases energy, lowers the stress level, and distracts from worries and negative thoughts that tend to feed anxiety.”
For most benefit, he recommends a routine that includes strength training exercises, as well as interval training followed by breathing exercises while stretching. Scott says, "I know it sounds counter-intuitive, but to fully relax, you need to fully exert."
“The improvement of your mood can be truly amazing,” Scott notes. “Just remember to make sure that you exercise regularly – you should certainly not be skipping your workout during the holidays.”
Another key to a better mood is nutrition, since certain foods are known to lessen the depression. Scott recommends adding these ingredients to your daily diet:
Omega-3 fatty acids, present in certain fish, nuts, seeds and dark-green leafy vegetables, have been shown in studies to be great mood boosters.
Vitamin B-12: Research indicates that people who eat diets high in vitamin B-12, which is found in fish and low-fat dairy products, may be at a lower risk of depression.
Selenium may also help improve mild depression, studies show. So make sure to consume selenium-rich seafood, nuts, whole grains, beans, lean meat, and low-fat dairy.
“What it comes down to is that exercise and well-chosen nutrition are powerful weapons in a fight against stress and depression,” Scott says. “Follow these guidelines to ensure that your holidays this year are truly happy – and healthy as well!”
About Lincoln Impact Fitness:
Lincoln Impact Fitness is a one month fitness and lifestyle program (a/k/a IMPACT - Intense Mixed Performance Accelerated Cross Training) which incorporates all of the advanced training principles used by the fittest athletes and fitness models and combines it into a fun and productive group workout you can enjoy and see quick results from. The workouts are intense but are able to be modified to meet the different needs of various fitness levels and abilities. Program details and client testimonials are available at:www.lincolnimpact.com Matt Scott, a certified fitness expert with 5 years experience in the fitness industry, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 402-937-8FIT (8348).
About Matt Scott, Fitness Expert:
Matt is a certified personal trainer through NASM, ACE and NESTA. In 2010 he made some huge changes in his own life, losing over 50 pounds. This process led him to become more involved in health and fitness and for him to discover his true passion for helping people change their lives. In 2010, Matt and wife Kristy founded the American Health and Fitness Institute, a nonprofit organization to raise awareness for childhood obesity and other fitness related issues facing kids in our community. Matt also has special training working with older adults and is the only AARP approved Certified Trainer in the Omaha and Lincoln area by the American Council on Exercise (ACE). Matt can be reached at email@example.com or 402-937-8FIT (8348) and is available for media interviews on topics related to health, wellness and fitness.