by Marylin Salgado
On my COMEBACK blog, I discussed ways we can safely and effectively start our workout routine again after a short or extended period of absence from the gym due to illness or injury. Within it, I mentioned how being lazy can affect our workouts. Are we being plain lazy, or is there an underlying issue that is helping us feel sluggish and unmotivated?
If we routinely have a workout schedule, we don’t just suddenly stop going to the gym just because. There is usually an issue such as depression or hormone dysfunction that can cause many symptoms, some of which may be lack of energy to initiate, continue, or even finish a task or workout.
According to Kent Holtorf, M.D.: Levels of hormones, such as those produced by the thyroid gland, can be factors in depression. In addition, some symptoms of depression are associated with thyroid conditions. The same is true about conditions related to the menstrual cycle, such as premenstrual syndrome (PMS), perimenopause, and menopause.
And, according to the Holtorf Medical Group: In men, too much estrogen can cause depression or mood swings, and too little testosterone can cause depression, fatigue, mental fogginess, weight gain, and low sex drive. In women, sex hormone imbalances can cause the whole gamut of mental health symptoms.
Yes, he did say too much estrogen in men. Please consider those individuals undergoing sexual changes. These individuals must take a certain amount of the female hormone estrogen or male hormone testosterone to become a man or woman. (That is a whole other blog altogether.) In this blog, I want to focus on ways to manage depression or lack of motivation, so we don’t lose sight of what our goals are when we begin or continue an exercise program.
Depression can also be caused by chemical imbalances in the brain; and while these can be controlled by medications, it is still important to maintain an active schedule and a healthy diet. Some symptoms of depression may be the following:
- Mood swings
- Lack of concentration
- Decreased motivation
- Abusing substances, such as drugs or alcohol
- Creating distance between yourself and others
- Resting too much or not enough
- Thoughts of hurting yourself or others
There are healthy and natural ways to beat depression, but first you need to get up from the couch and actually do something. If your lack of motivation is that severe, then ask a friend to help support by calling you or even accompanying you to the gym or going for a walk. Setting up a routine and eating a healthy diet is also essential to help fight depression. Another way to help fight depression is to change your workout routine, find more challenging workouts, or simply find a different route to take your morning walks or jogs. Are you bored of your daily work routine? Volunteer at the local animal shelter or elder community center. Taking care of animals is a great way to distract your mind and focus on something else other than yourself and your depression. Helping the elderly can be a great and heartwarming experience, as well. Finally, try to do something fun. If you are obese or overweight, I am sure your workouts probably feel like work more than fun. Then, find something fun to do. Take a few hours from your schedule to go to the mall and window shop with a friend or go to a book store and find a piece of literature that challenges your mind and way of thinking. I find meditation extremely cathartic and satisfying. Music therapy can also be a wonderful and powerful therapeutic tool.
As always, please consult your doctor or mental health specialist before adding any supplements to your diet or starting an exercise program. If you suffer from severe depression and/or ever have thoughts of suicide, please call 911 or the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.
This platform is meant to educate Tokkyo Nutrition consumers with the information needed to help you stay mentally and physically healthy.
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