by Tony Gjokaj July 06, 2020 5 min read
Exercise was my means to eliminate depression and build self-confidence within myself in my teenage years.
In a time where most will focus on drugs and alcohol for escape, I found my sanctuary in exercise. Exercise was my battlefield, and everything good is worth fighting for!
Encountering and overcoming the pain and progress from exercise allowed me to strive towards being a better person, and reaching my greatest potential.
In this article, I am going to talk about how exercise helped my mental health. I will give you scientific and personal examples to support what I have to say.
So with that, let's dive in!
Exercise is and has always been a catalyst to a greater potential. It allows you to exceed your expectations - to be a better you.
I personally like to treat the gym as my warzone: it's the battlefield. It allows me to embrace the present moment while challenging me to be better.
This helps me come out of the gym even better than before - Reforged.
The gym is a metaphorical life teacher.
Now if my personal anecdote isn't convincing, I'd love to share some science behind exercise and mental health.
Exercise has been shown to improve mental health through means of reducing anxiety, depression, and more. This study also reinforces my personal experience with exercise, stating: "exercise has also been found to alleviate symptoms such as low self-esteem and social withdrawal."
When people embark on their journey towards exercise, they also tend to develop better eating habits. Nutrition has a huge impact on mood, as the nutrient-dense foods you consume provide various health and cognitive benefits.
While there are plenty of diets to implement, one of the best diets is the Mediterranean Diet. According to one study, the Mediterranean Diet helped reduced depressive symptoms in older adults over time.
Better nutrition choices come as a result of introducing exercise to your body. At the end of a workout, we tend to fixate on eating foods that will benefit us.
This is why we believe exercise to be the ultimate habit-builder.
As I've mentioned in our Melatonin and Serotonin article, exercise also helps build "sleep pressure", which is defined as the pressure needed to help you fall asleep.
Better quality of sleep allows for better recovery, mood, energy, and more. With that, we can argue that exercise is an incredible "habit-builder".
Personally, exercise has helped me overcome depression, anxiety, and sleep deprivation. Introducing myself to exercise allowed me to stack positive habits on top of each other:
With my personal example, I truly believe that fitness is the catalyst to a greater potential.
According to one study, exercise lowered depression, despite what levels of depression the individual was facing. So with that, the CDC created some guidelines that you can follow for exercise.
The following are recommendations for exercise for physical and mental health:
Simply put: a combination of resistance (weight training) and cardiovascular exercise will benefit you physically and mentally.
With Reforged, we tend to prioritize weight lifting over cardiovascular exercise for the reason that resistance training builds significantly more muscle.
Here's our take on exercise:
While these guidelines are solid recommendations, we wanted to dive in further with an example of a simple workout program for physical and mental health.
This program is a 5 day a week program: 3 weight training days and 2 cardio days. It's a program for people who are just getting into exercise for the physical and mental health benefits.
Here are a few guidelines to consider:
With that, let's get into the program!
As you can see here, this program is a simple program that helps you get started on your journey. If you follow a specific program already, be sure that you practice consistency over everything!
Your goal is to build a confident and happier you, and you can only do that with consistency!
At Reforged, our goal is to show you all the same love we have for exercise. Fitness helped us physically and mentally, allowing us to do our best work.
We are very passionate about helping others get through their mental challenges because we have been there. Fitness helped us go beyond, and we want to share that with you.
To simplify this post: exercise not only just improves your body, but it improves your mind as well! We were meant to move, to progress, and to be stronger.
There's a reason why our bodies and minds grow and adapt. We are meant to be better.
Thanks for reading Reforged Legion! If you have any questions or recommendations on content you would like to see, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Now, go out there and reforge yourself with exercise!
Tony is the Owner of Reforged Performance Nutrition. He is a PN1 Certified Nutrition Coach and has been in the fitness space for over a decade. His goal is to help bridge the gap between physical & mental health through fitness.
by Tony Gjokaj September 17, 2021 5 min read
When you're depressed, even when you're not expending a lot of energy... you don't feel like you have any energy to spare to begin with.
It can be aggravating to hear that you need to work out to boost your endorphins, (or whatever your friends say to you).
In reality, they aren't wrong... but how can you exercise if you can't even get out of bed?
Is there something wrong with us?
Absolutely not. This happens with depression.
The thing with depression is that your whole body may feel like it is against you... and it's very frustrating.
I've been there.
But I was forced to work out once I committed to it because of an accountability partner I had.
In this post, we are going to go over some ways that may help you get off the couch when your mind & body are against you.
by Tony Gjokaj September 13, 2021 2 min read
Hydration is paramount to your health and wellbeing.
When I worked my previous management job, I ran three rental car branches simultaneously at a time where one of the other managers was gone for over a month.
I would try to get my water in regularly, but the locations were incredibly busy. You would always find me at the front desk with customers swarming in.
This played a large part in my stress and I never knew it did until I found a way to actually get drink more water.
In this short post, we are going to go over why hydration is essential for mental health.
Let's dive in!
by Tony Gjokaj September 08, 2021 3 min read
When I was overweight, I was inactive, depressed, and had insomnia.
I would isolate myself from social interaction, which led me down a dark path where I contemplated suicide.
Eventually, fitness was my salvation, as physical activity led to me sleeping better, eating better, feeling better, and thinking better.
Prior to exercise, I was stuck in what was deemed an Inactivity Trap.
So in this post, we are going to go over an article that was written in 2009 with the same name, called "The Inactivity Trap". This article included studies that supported their claims from a psychological standpoint which intrigued me as well.
So let's dive into what the Inactivity Trap is.
Rise to a greater potential.
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