Stress, Fat and Bone Density.


Startling Statistic: Stress and fat Many people already know that exercise is a great anti-depressant. This is because exercise stimulates the production of the so-called 'feel good' chemicals (endorphins), and increases the serotonin levels in the brain. And now, according to the British Medical Journal, there is another great reason to exercise if you have been depressed. Evidence is mounting that long term depression can lead to a reduction in bone marrow density. In major depression, production of the steroid hormone cortisol increases. Prolonged excess of cortisol in the body is known to decrease bone density. But that's not all. Excess cortisol also leads to a redistribution of body fat, such that there is more fat around the middle. This can mean a higher risk for coronary disease, even if the person's overall weight goes down! And although antidepressants may be prescribed to combat depression, some anti-depressants may induce weight gain as a side effect. So there is more reason than ever to relax regularly and exercise regularly. Regular relaxation will normalise levels of cortisol, and regular weight-bearing aerobic exercise will increase bone density and keep excess fat levels down.

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