Since 2019, separation, isolation, fear, stress, and frustration have made their way into our lives. Indeed, we already felt that way sometimes before COVID-19. But in 2020, more than half of 1,200 survey participants reported a moderate to severe psychological impact from the situation we live in. One-third experienced anxiety, and 17% reported alarming depression symptoms (1).
Most of us never imagined this would last for so long. There’s a spike of mental health problems, which is becoming obvious even to the untrained eye. We urgently need a portable and versatile solution to the problem.
Exercise can be the answer to combat depression and anxiety, and resistance bands are an all-around option to consider.
Exercise as a strategy to prevent depression
Fitness programs do not only have an aesthetic result. They also reduce the incidence of depression in young people and seniors. It doesn’t matter if you engage in vigorous exercise or low-intensity sessions. They are both equally effective in reducing depressive symptoms in the future.
The effects appear to be more pronounced as you increase the intensity. But it is clear that all fitness levels are excellent for your brain function. Moreover, these interventions do not have side effects and provide additional cardiovascular benefits.
All you need to do is learn a few moves and care for your technique. And if you’re looking for the right piece of equipment, we recommend resistance bands. You can take them everywhere, and they do not take up extra space in your room. They are versatile and will always be ready to use with little to no maintenance.
Therapeutic mechanisms of exercise for anxiety and depression
What happens inside your body as you exercise? Why is it beneficial for anxiety and depression?
According to studies, exercise increases a chemical called “brain-derived neurotrophic factor” (BDNF). This substance promotes changes in the brain that make us resilient to changes and capable of coping with anxiety and depression. By normalizing BDNF, neurons are better protected and create more connections. This effect could even delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease (2).
Another mechanism has to do with hormones in the body, primarily cortisol. This is the stress hormone and induces fear, excessive vigilance, and anxiety. Prolonged anxious thoughts are exhausting to the mind and trigger depression. That is why anxiety and depression are deeply linked. Resistance exercise training regulates cortisol levels through modulating the HPA axis (3).
In a nutshell, exercise induces chemical changes in the brain and hormones. Resistance exercise is particularly useful to trigger such changes. That’s another reason we mentioned resistance bands as an alternative to the traditional dumbbell equipment. It is a versatile, affordable, and space-saving solution if you plan to build a workout space at home.
FitCord covered resistance bands are made in USA. They are here for you to increase fitness levels at home. We have different types for different uses. For example, the Body Sculpting series is designed for advanced fitness levels. The X-Over Resistance Bands are made for upper body workouts. Our Perfect Therapy Bands are specially designed for physical therapy. The FitCord is great for General Fitness and are the bestselling band style due to their sewn in handles. All of these bands are High-quality, American Made products.
Regardless of the model, consistency is the best recommendation we can offer. A recent study in cancer patients found that 40 minutes routines three times a week effectively reduced depression symptoms. But the patients needed to be perseverant every week for at least 12 weeks (4).
We believe in safety first. So, we also recommend consulting with your physician in case of heart disease or another chronic health condition. Stay safe and build an exercise environment at home. Build your motivation every day, and you will soon start experiencing the benefits.
- Wang, C., Pan, R., Wan, X., Tan, Y., Xu, L., Ho, C. S., & Ho, R. C. (2020). Immediate psychological responses and associated factors during the initial stage of the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) epidemic among the general population in China. International journal of environmental research and public health, 17(5), 1729.
- Hu, S., Tucker, L., Wu, C., & Yang, L. (2020). Beneficial effects of exercise on depression and anxiety during the Covid-19 pandemic: A narrative review. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 11, 1217.
- Crewther, B. T., Cook, C., Cardinale, M., Weatherby, R. P., & Lowe, T. (2011). Two emerging concepts for elite athletes: the short-term effects of testosterone and cortisol on the neuromuscular system and the dose-response training role of these endogenous hormones. Sports medicine, 41(2), 103-123.
- Kunneman, M., Marijnen, C. A., Rozema, T., Ceha, H. M., Grootenboers, D. A., Neelis, K. J., ... & Pieterse, A. H. (2015). Decision consultations on preoperative radiotherapy for rectal cancer: large variation in benefits and harms that are addressed. British journal of cancer, 112(1), 39-43.