According to the National Mental Health Association more than 17 million American men and women experience depression in one form or another every year. About 1 out of 10 Americans go through at least one depressive swamp sometime during his or her life. Women tend to suffer from clinical depression twice as much as men. Depression is a very serious illness, but there is good news. Research shows that diet and lifestyle can lower your risk.


Some Hidden Reasons Why You May Be Depressed:

  • nutritional deficiencies
  • overdosing on caffeine, sugar, alcohol, and high fat foods
  • allergies
  • anxiety
  • chronic stress
  • too little or too large a quantity of the neurotransmitters norepinephrine, seritonin, and dopamine
  • smoking
  • stress at work or in relationships

Checklist To See If you are Experiencing Clinical Depression:

  1. Thoughts of death or suicide
  2. Reduced or increased appetite, weight loss or weight gain
  3. Sleeping too much or too little and waking up early in the morning
  4. Restlessness and irritability
  5. Excessive crying and a sad, anxious, or empty feeling
  6. Feelings of guilt, worthlessness and hopelessness
  7. Difficulty in concentrating,, remembering, or making decisions
  8. Decreased energy and loss or interest in activities; fatigue and feeling down all the time


You may experience a few of these signs every once and awhile, but that doesn’t mean you are clinically depressed. It could be stress depending on what is happening in your life at that particular time. However, if you experience a few of these signs on a regular basis, you may want to talk to your doctor about what you are experiencing. Consequently you may have to go on a medication to help control your depression but a least expensive solution would be to start an exercise program.


Starting an Exercise Program

  • Walk outside 3 to 4 times a week for 30 minutes. Start off with a nice stroll and work your way up to a more brisk walk.
  • Try a group fitness class. At Real Life Fitness we offer Boxing, Zumba, Yoga and several other classes that are great for beginner exercisers up to advanced.
  • Hire a personal trainer. Trainers can help you with a meal plan and fitness program that is designed specifically for you


In Conclusion

Most importantly, if you feel hopeless please don’t isolate yourself. Talk to a friend, your doctor, or pray about how you feel. Keeping your feelings inside can lead to deeper depression and more hopelessness.I promise that if you start exercising you will feel like a new person that you will never want to quit. Please call me if you have any questions, and remember, exercise is fun.



Mary Wannall is the owner of Real Life Fitness and a nationally certified fitness coach.

She can be reached at 404-940-8085.