Mental Health & Exercise – 15 Dec 2019

Image courtesy of Stockvault.

I’ve got a doctor’s appointment later this week, and I’m going to have to tell her about the changes to what I’m taking. I’ve gained some weight, and I want to try to lose it before the appointment. I don’t want a lecture on how Zoloft was supposed to help me manage my weight.

But I don’t just exercise to avoid lectures. In the past, I’ve noticed some correlation between regular physical activity and keeping my moods in check. Finding the ability to do regular activity has been difficult. I don’t always know when to stop doing whatever I’m doing, and that can lead to minor sprains and other small injuries.

As of late, I’ve found some success in alternating days of upper body workouts with walks. Jogging is something I wanted to get into, but the return in investment right now is not good. Walking is something I need to be doing to get weight off. Jogging is something that I’ll need to do in the future to keep it off.

Right now, I’ve upped my walks from 3 miles (~4.8 km) to 6 miles (~9.6 km) when I do them. The breaks in between give my legs a chance to heal up from the exertion. They’re not injured, but having them haul around 100 extra pounds (~45 kg) is a lot of work. I was trying to start jogging, but that was tearing up my knees.

In addition, I’m some light weights and upper body exercises. My midsection is the most out of shape. Unless you count round, then it is most assuredly in that shape.

Diet is important for me too. But I have less control over that, so I have to do what I can when I can. Fortunately I’m avoiding a lot of fast food.

In the end, it’s not about doing everything all at once for my mental health. It’s about doing everything I can think of when it’s possible for me to do it. I used to beat myself up over an unrealistic view of what I should be doing. Now I’m slowly giving myself credit for what I’m actually doing.

Every little bit helps.

2 thoughts on “Mental Health & Exercise – 15 Dec 2019

  1. Six miles is a long walk! That’s great. You can still be healthy without jogging. Unless you like to torture yourself (whatever floats your boat).

    Anyway I applaud you for consistently trying to make the effort. That’s *really* hard for someone to do when they are feeling depressed. I know it is for me and my providers keep getting on me to exercise because it’s so beneficial. I’ve started up again and I get why they kept harping on me about this.

    By the way, antidepressants (including) SSRIs cause weight gain in 25% of people who take them so I’m not sure how Zoloft would help someone manage their weight. So if your doctor mentions this just roll your eyes at her. When she’s looking away, of course. Really, you are doing your best.


  2. Food is the one place in your life where you can control your own pleasure. The availability of large quantities of good food have made this a problem. Exercise helps balance hunger (physical or psychological). (Exercise can actually make you more hungry, so the people who say that exercise is an appetite suppressor are not exactly speaking truth.)
    Walking is great exercise, jogging not so much. You can control the pace of your walks which is good to do just to break up the monotony.
    Hang in there. I know it is hard to trust your body, but without your body, your minds are deaf, dumb, and blind, so there is wisdom there.

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