Author Topic: Endurance training is a great "medication" for depression  (Read 1278 times)

[Buddie]

Endurance training is a great "medication" for depression
« on: May 10, 2021, 01:22:38 am »
Hi guys,

To start, I must say that I am Brazilian and my English is not good.

Let me tell you a little about my experience and maybe I can help someone.

I have been taking mirtazapine for depression for almost 2 years, with few (or barely noticeable) side effects. I think it worked at the beginning (August 2019), but after a while the effect was not the same, because I had a relapse in February 2020 and I haven't been able to improve since then.

During the fight against the problem, I researched a lot and discovered a great "medicine" for depression: High Intensity Aerobics Exercise or Continuous Resistance Training or Endurance Training (both have the same meaning, in my opinion).

For me it was a salvation, because I think that it would not improve with the antidepressant alone.

I started swimming in October 2020 and in just 2 months I was feeling completely well. My training protocol is 45 minutes a day, 4 times a week. The intensity is high (I think the heart rate stays around 120 bpm during training, reaching a maximum of 150 bpm sometimes). I always check my heart rate with a smartwatch after training.

The training basically consists of a set of several 100 meter races with high intensity, with an interval of 30 seconds to 45 seconds between the laps. The total distance covered in a workout is about 1700 to 2,000 meters.

In my experience, strength training and low-intensity aerobic exercise (such as walking) didn't make much of a difference to my depression like high-intensity aerobic exercise.

As I said, I did a lot of research before I started swimming and found many publications that showed the powerful benefits of aerobic exercise for mental health.

For example, there is an article on wikipedia that cites many studies on the effect of aerobic exercise on the brain. It is worth taking a look: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neurobiological_effects_of_physical_exercise

There are also many videos on youtube that show the benefits of aerobic exercise for mental health.

I decided to do this post because I know that there are a lot of people who can't feel better just with antidepressants and I know that a lot of people just don't know the power of aerobic exercise or underestimate it.

I am not going to tell you to stop taking antidepressants, because they are also important for your recovery. As I said, I take mirtazapine, but I believe that intense aerobic exercise is better than medication for mental issues.

There are many reasons why aerobic exercises improve mental health, but I think the main thing is the increase in BDNF (Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor) and consequently the increase in cerebral neuroplasticity, because BDNF is a protein that is linked to the growth of new neurons.

Please, tell your experience with exercises and depression, and let me help you.
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Endurance training is a great "medication" for depression
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2021, 02:10:59 am »
Thank you for sharing what works for you, I'm glad you've noticed improvement.  I see from your first post you mentioned you'd taken Clonazepam, were you on it for very long and did you experience any withdrawal symptoms when you stopped taking it?

The reason I ask is because there are many members have an intolerance to exercise while withdrawing and recovering from benzo's, but most agree some sort of mild exercise is beneficial.
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Endurance training is a great "medication" for depression
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2021, 12:12:41 am »
Thank you for sharing what works for you, I'm glad you've noticed improvement.  I see from your first post you mentioned you'd taken Clonazepam, were you on it for very long and did you experience any withdrawal symptoms when you stopped taking it?

The reason I ask is because there are many members have an intolerance to exercise while withdrawing and recovering from benzo's, but most agree some sort of mild exercise is beneficial.

I used clonazepam in two periods. I think from August 2019 to March 2020 and maybe from August 2020 to March 2021. Before I used zolpidem from June 2019 to August 2019, but the tolerance came fast.

My history with benzo was very easy compared to many people who posted their experiences on this site. I had no difficulty in reducing it and had no significant side effects.

The only side effects I experienced were a little anxiety in the first withdrawal and moderate insomnia after the second withdrawal (and in the first month after the interruption).

My standard dose was 0.8 mg at night. I rarely used a little more.

I made 2 gradual withdrawals in my treatment. In both I used a little of the Ashton method (0.1mg every 15 days or 10 days) with the agreement of my doctor.

Today I am without benzo for about 2 months without major side effects, but my sleep is still not 100%, however, it is much better than during the gradual reduction and the first month after the complete withdrawal.

I decided not to mention my story with benzo on this site yet because I think it is too early. I need more time for a definitive conclusion about my history with clonazepam and my sleep problems.

I also intend to write my experience with sleep hygiene habits and strategies for a good sleep without benzo, for help the people who suffer with insomnia.

Note: I decided that I will never take clonazepam again.
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Endurance training is a great "medication" for depression
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2021, 12:21:17 am »
Thank you for filling in the details of your benzo experience and your input on sleep hygiene will be most appreciated since insomnia is pretty much a universal symptom for us.  Wonderful to know you don't plan to take clonazepam again, I've read anecdotal evidence that repeated cessations can lead to increased difficulty when attempting it again.
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Endurance training is a great "medication" for depression
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2021, 03:27:16 pm »
Hi [...]!  One of the therapies for depression is Mindfulness training.  Being in the moment not in your thoughts.  So, a person is not in their head but is focused on experiencing the current moment.  Nothing is more mindful than competition.  So, I speculate that when a person is doing "several 100 meter races with high intensity" they are focused on the race and don't have time to think of anything else.  And during the break, a person is focused on recovering for the next race.

Not only excellent aerobic/fitness training, but mindfulness.  And if you enjoy it, you will be thinking of something that you enjoy.  Glorious cycle as opposed to vicious.
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Endurance training is a great "medication" for depression
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2021, 04:29:11 pm »
Hey [...],  thank you for sharing this.  I love it when people share things here that have been helpful for them.   :thumbsup:
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Endurance training is a great "medication" for depression
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2021, 05:27:50 pm »
Bę Very carefull with benzos and hypnotic drugs, your already on the pills circle ... If i were you i would even get off from your AD before major problems, taper It slowly , check survivongantidepressants.com, antidepressants can make you feel Crazy like benzos, making your primary condition a dream tô bę achieved ... Just a warning, keep doing sports since It helps, from a fellow from your country
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Endurance training is a great "medication" for depression
« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2021, 01:41:24 am »
Bę Very carefull with benzos and hypnotic drugs, your already on the pills circle ... If i were you i would even get off from your AD before major problems, taper It slowly , check survivongantidepressants.com, antidepressants can make you feel Crazy like benzos, making your primary condition a dream tô bę achieved ... Just a warning, keep doing sports since It helps, from a fellow from your country

[...],

[...] stated he no longer takes a benzo and he never mentions a hypnotic drug so I'm not sure how you arrived at that conclusion but as for his antidepressant use, this is his decision and it is between he and his doctor.  We don't tell members what drugs they should or should not take.  Please familiarize yourself with our policies.

[...]

Our Mission Statement and rule pertaining to prescriptive comments.

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Members of the BenzoBuddies community are encouraged to exchange ideas, information and support during the process of withdrawal and recovery.

Although outside of the immediate scope of BenzoBuddies, members are free to discuss their wider medical problems and needs as they relate to benzodiazepine use and withdrawal.

Taking or quitting any medicine—including benzodiazepines—should be a personal decision made in consultation with a suitably qualified medical practitioner.

Through a peer-support model, we strive to help members achieve their goals.

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Please adopt a non-prescriptive writing style. Relating your experiences, stating options, or posting suggestions of what other members might do are all welcome. However, advising members of what they should or must do is against the ethos of the BenzoBuddies Community. Nor should you attempt to 'diagnose' medical problems or suggest medical treatments to other members. This policy also applies to members with medical qualifications. A more detailed explanation of this policy can be found in our Guidelines Regarding the Giving of Medical Advice document.
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Endurance training is a great "medication" for depression
« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2021, 12:04:33 am »
Hi [...]!  One of the therapies for depression is Mindfulness training.  Being in the moment not in your thoughts.  So, a person is not in their head but is focused on experiencing the current moment.  Nothing is more mindful than competition.  So, I speculate that when a person is doing "several 100 meter races with high intensity" they are focused on the race and don't have time to think of anything else.  And during the break, a person is focused on recovering for the next race.

Not only excellent aerobic/fitness training, but mindfulness.  And if you enjoy it, you will be thinking of something that you enjoy.  Glorious cycle as opposed to vicious.

I never thought about that, but I agree with you.
I believe that all types of exercise can provide a meditative state for our mind.
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Endurance training is a great "medication" for depression
« Reply #9 on: July 27, 2021, 08:37:44 pm »
Wish I had the urge to exercise. I've always been a sedentary blob even in my better days so now I'm trying to compel myself to move around an do something, even just a walk around the house (too hot outside!)

And ugh...

Time to be a lump on the couch more.
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.