Many of our patients struggle with diseases related to obesity on top of their weight issues, one being depression. Depression comes in many forms and can oftentimes be undetected.

Depression is not only serious, but very prevalent amongst patients that suffer from obesity. Depression affects how you feel, the way you think, and the way you act, but you can seek treatment.

Depression causes feelings of sadness, loss of interest in hobbies, friends, and events you one enjoyed, and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems that cannot only increases the risk of weight gain, but can decrease a person’s ability to function at work and at home (medical conditions such as thyroid problems, a brain tumor, or a vitamin deficiency can mimic symptoms of depression, too).

The HUNT Study

The HUNT Study was one of the longest and most comprehensive data collection studies regarding the link between exercise and depression. The study originated in Norway, where teams collected a unique database of medical histories both personal and family histories, during three concentrated studies.

Phase 1 of the study was carried out between January 1984 and February 1986. All persons aged 20 years and older living in Norway’s Nord-Trøndelag County were invited to respond to questions about their lifestyle, medical history, and underwent a physical examination.

A total of 74,599 persons responded to the survey. All participants were followed for a period of 9 to 13 years during phase 2 of the study, where a total of 22,564 individuals were successfully assessed during phase 2.

In this study, those who reported participating in no exercise at all during that time-period had a 44% increase in odds of developing depression in comparison to those who were exercising just 1-2 hours a week. According to this study, those who reported more than one-hour of exercise per week had no real fluctuation (increase or decrease) in levels of depression. Only ONE HOUR is required a WEEK to prevent increased symptoms of depression or depression as whole. Of course, more exercise will jumpstart your system, increase weight loss, and release some massive amounts of serotonin, but just one hour per week can save you from the symptoms of this disease.

How to Begin Exercise, Starting Small

Small, quick bouts of exercise are all you need, but knowing where to start safely and healthily may come as a challenge. Below are some suggestions from Western Bariatric Institute that will help you start your weekly exercise routine. You’ll be surprised at how good you feel after just a little spell, and will become inspired to keep it going!

  1. Walking. Start small, make it around the block, or with about 2 – 5 minutes per day. The goal is to reach at least 30 min. this one, but everything is a step in the right direction!
  2. Water exercises. Water reduces your weight by at least 90%. Water aerobics, swimming, and even walking can be performed in the pull. With just enough a resistance, and a cool water environment surrounding you, this may grow to be one of your favorite exercises!
  3. Treadmills/Stationary Bikes. If you feel more comfortable in a gym setting, these two pieces of equipment are great. Not only can you keep time, but you can set your pace and zone out. You have the ability to go early morning, late night, or anywhere in between.

Struggling with depression or negative thoughts is quite common among our patients. Depression can be caused by many factors, but obesity is one of the most dangerous.

Contact Western Bariatric Institute and let us help you create a routine.