Despite knowing the benefits of physical activity, most of us still don’t get enough of it each day. According to the researchers, physical activity as simple as walking can tremendously impact our mental health and help us to overcome mental health issues like stress, anxiety, depression, etc. A dedicated fitness routine is a necessity, and it is indeed your best bet for getting active or high-spirited especially if your job is not physically demanding in nature. However, most of us feel that we don’t have enough time to exercise. If you relate to that, perhaps it is time to try high-intensity interval training (HIIT).
What Is High-intensity Interval Training (HIIT)?
Commonly known as Interval training, High-intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a training protocol and an efficient way of burning fat and calories in a short period of time. HIIT is characterized by alternating short periods of intense or explosive anaerobic exercise with brief recovery periods until the point of exhaustion. To experience maximum effect, the explosive anaerobic exercise or bursts should be challenging, and the rest periods kept to a minimum. Moreover, from a mental health perspective, HIIT essentially stimulates the synthesis and release of feel-good chemicals in the brain that ultimately brings down stress, anxiety, and depression and promote resilience.
Impacts Of HIIT
Exercising gets the blood flowing and improves circulation, in turn, it triggers the release of happy hormones and feel-good hormones such as Dopamine, Serotonin, and Endorphins. These hormones play a crucial role in mental well-being. Dopamine and Serotonin are responsible for improving mood which is why we feel great after a good workout. Whereas Endorphins are known for combatting fatigue and the pain that we usually experience through exercising. Endorphins are a group of hormones secreted within the brain, having several physiological functions. These are peptides that activate the body’s opiate receptors that lead to feelings of pleasure and are responsible for causing an analgesic effect for relieving pain.
HIIT and Mental Health Issues
Depression, also known as major depressive disorder or clinical depression, causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. It can lead to a variety of emotional and physiological problems. You might even struggle to do your day-to-day activities or chores. Apart from disturbing your mental balance, depression affects your sexual health as well. It hinders the ability to attain an erection and leads to erectile dysfunction. You can make use of Filitra medications which are potent ED drugs, well-known for their demonstrated effects on treating erectile dysfunction. Moreover, studies have shown that vigorous exercises increase the levels of Glutamate and GABA, which are common neurotransmitters that conduct chemical messaging in the brain. Mostly, major depressive disorders are a result of depleted levels of both these neurotransmitters.
Furthermore, another study reported that HIIT can alter your brain by releasing a protein known as BDNF, which regulates brain function and mood. Several major mental illnesses like depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia stem due to low levels of BDNF. Hence, HIIT instigates a flood of happiness and chemicals in the brain for elevating mood as well as improving brain function that eventually wards off depression and other mental illnesses.
Get Yourself A Tailored Exercise Program
Interval training can be an excellent tool for managing depression. For individuals who are diagnosed with depression secondary to other health conditions, an exercise prescription can be specifically tailored for treating both the primary illness as well as secondary depression. A physiotherapist or doctor who specializes in the area of your illness or in exercise prescription for medical illnesses can help you by referring to a tailored exercise prescription suitable for your condition.
You can implement HIIT practice to reap both the physiological and mental health rewards. It is better to start slowly to avoid getting injured. Your body will get used to the exercise routine gradually. And once you excel in it, you will see its results reflecting on your health. Lastly, a healthy nutritious diet is essential to perform such high-intensity exercises, so make sure you consume a balanced diet that is rich in nutrients.