It is possible that regular moderate exercise may prevent anxiety and depression. According to Thomas Insel the former director of the National Institute of Mental Health the mental health of our nation has declined in the past two decades. Suicide rates per 100,000 have increased to a high, Substance abuse of opiates has become epidemic. Social Security disability awards for mental disorders have significantly increased since 1980. Over the past two decades mental illness has become the second most common cause of disability in the United States second only to musculoskeletal disorders and it is becoming clear that these may both be diseases of inactivity and obesity.
In the past decade scientists have uncovered details about how exercise alters the brain and the body as a whole. Exercise boosts your heart rate, sending blood, oxygen, hormones and neurochemicals throughout the body. There is increasing evidence suggesting that habitual moderate exercise conditions the brain and immune system to better cope with physical and mental strain. Exercise has also been found to alleviate symptoms such as low self-esteem and social withdrawal. Aerobic exercises, including jogging, swimming, cycling, walking, gardening, and dancing, have been proved to reduce anxiety and depression. In addition, a 2016 meta-analysis examining 25 of the most rigorous experimental studies found that exercise, especially moderate to vigorous aerobic exercise is a potent treatment for depression. It is now accepted that working out can alleviate the symptoms of depression. Exercise is necessary for more than improving or maintaining mental health, it is necessary for our bodies to function.
There are two complete circulation systems in the body. The second is the lymphatic system and it is as essential as the blood circulatory system. As the blood circulates around the body, fluid leaks out from the blood vessels into the body tissues. This fluid carries food to the cells and then the fluid collects waste products, bacteria, and damaged cells. It also collects any cancer cells if these are present. This fluid then drains into the lymph vessels.
The lymphatic system has no heart to pump the lymph fluid, it depends on the motion of muscles and joints to transport the lymph. Lymph fluid distributes immune cells and other factors throughout the body making a one-way journey from the interstitial spaces to the subclavian veins at the base of the neck. As it moves upward toward the neck the lymph passes through lymph nodes which filter the fluid to remove debris and pathogens. At the base of the neck, the cleansed lymph flows into the subclavian veins on either side of the neck. The lymph system interacts with the blood circulatory system to rid the body of toxins, waste and other unwanted materials. Without enough movement the lymphatic system cannot function.
It is possible that exercise is not so much a treatment for depression, but the lack of exercise the cause of depression and disease. Our lifestyles are causing the increase in mental illness and disease. Exercise is also necessary to maintain health and remove toxins, waste and other unwanted materials through proper functioning of the lymph system. The idea of Move for health is of course from First Lady Michelle Obama's “Let’s Move!” initiative dedicated to solving the problem of putting children on the path to a healthy future. Despite its name the program emphasizes providing healthier foods in our schools lunch program; expansion of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly Food Stamps); and, helping children become more physically active. Nonetheless, regular exercise through bike riding, walking, sports is the way to a healthy future.