How Fitness Can Help Alleviate Depression and Anxiety

Equinox Fitness San Francisco - Christian Pitkin



Depression and Suicide are a growing epidemic in our country
as well as worldwide.  Unfortunately, I
know this all too well.  In 2003, my Dad
took his own life due to numerous setbacks that led him to depression and
becoming a completely different person in the last few months of his life.  I loved my Dad so much as I was very close to
him.  He was one of my best friends and
someone I could talk to about anything. 
He was our whole family’s bedrock and someone whom we could all turn to
for advice.  As he was the last person
who I ever thought would end is own life, none of us were educated on the signs
of depression and ultimately how to curtail and minimize the effects depression
has on someone.  Specifically in my Dad’s
scenario; He was 67 years old at the time, with a stock market and career going
in a downward spiral (the career portion not his fault!). He had suffered a
herniated disc which prevented him from exercising.  He had exercised all his life and this was
devastating for him and only led him deeper into depression.  Soon thereafter, he could not sleep a wink
and was not thinking clearly at all before he ended it.  Clearly, exercising would have been an
element that at least would have made him feel a lot better and very well could
have saved his life.


Here are some facts about depression and suicide that are


  • 10
    percent of people in the U.S. ages 18 and over in a given year are deppressed,
    or more than 24 million people.
  • Ninety
    percent of all people who die by suicide have a diagnosable psychiatric
    disorder at the time of their death.
  • Over
    34,000 people in the United
    die by suicide every year.
  • Each
    year approximately ONE MILLION people in the world die by suicide.


Now, what is one of the ways to prevent or alleviate anxiety,
depression and/or suicide?  Yes, fitness
will certainly help a lot!   As I learned
in a Web MD article I read, when you exercise, your body releases chemicals
called endorphins.  These endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain
that reduce your perception of pain and also create positive feelings in your
entire body.  For example, after I have
an amazing workout or push myself on a long run, I have a sense of euphoria afterwards.  This feeling one gets will certainly help
create a more positive outlook in one’s life as well as one’s interaction with
their loved ones.  Even for us
non-depressed folks who may simply feel down at times (which happens to all of
us at one time or another) we need this endorphin rush.

exercise has been proven to help:

Reduce stress

Ward off anxiety and feelings of depression

Boost self-esteem

Improve sleep

also has these added health benefits:

It strengthens your

It increases energy

It lowers blood

It improves muscle
tone and strength.

It strengthens and
builds bones.

It helps reduce body

It makes you look fit
and healthy.

In conclusion, as I work
at Equinox as a Personal Trainer, I can honestly say that I have learned an
abundance of reasons how exercise is helpful for the human body AND mind.  Although, I wish I had known this many years
ago, it’s never too late to start practicing important habits that will benefit
you for a lifetime.  Please do not
hesitate to contact me if you ever would like to talk about anything on your
J  Also, please take a look at a few links below
that you may find helpful.

Christian Pitkin
NASM Certified Personal Trainer
Equinox Personal Trainer – San



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. Contact
for more info.



Eben Davis

I am a Chiropractor in the San Francisco Financial District specializing in chronic neck, arm and hand pain. I also treat herniated discs using spinal decompression, whiplash, sports injuries, headaches, and Fibromyalgia. My clinic is certified in the use of Deep Tissue Laser Therapy with the LiteCure LCT-1000 for conditions such as shoulder pain, TMJ and Plantar Fasciitis. I have been in practice for over 20 years.

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