Here are a great “Cliffs Notes” on a few articles I was researching the effects of exercise, sleep, and nutrition on a few cognitive diseases that affect 1000s in our area. Some really interesting stuff.
Here are some facts…
Depression costs over 20 billion a year and is the single largest cause of disability in the country affecting millions.
Anxiety affects 18% of the population at over 40 million people a year and the fastest-growing segment is people under the age of 20!
ADHD affects 8% of US adults and 11% of kids. Again the numbers here are on a SERIOUS upswing.
Nobody knows for sure. Some blame societal changes, some blame awareness, and others take charge against environmental factors like chemicals in our foods. In the end, there seems to be some clear cut evidence that a few lifestyle changes can greatly improve the symptoms of these diseases.
CHECK FOR ADDITIVES
Time to clean up those diets. Certain additives in our food have been PROVEN to be associated with more severe symptoms. Artificial colorings appear to be the biggest culprits. A study by Nigg and his team showed that the preservative “Sodium Benzoate” caused an increase in the severity of those suffering from anxiety ad ADHD.
These chemicals are found in most cold cuts, hot dogs, pre-packaged cheese….Many of the things people feed their kids!
(You know I always say the movement is medicine!) The most OVERWELLMING evidence comes from exercise.
Exercise has been categorically shown to improve attention, mood, and overall brain health. The researchers found that there is no greater single component including most medications in helping to alleviate the symptoms of depression, anxiety, and ADHD then regular exercise.
GET TO MOVING!
80% of adults with these diseases say the suffer from poor sleep. I posted it before but having a sleep routine is key. Getting one’s self into the habit of going to bed early and getting up at the same time every day. Sleep is especially important for ids so get off the FORTNIGHT and turn the phones off! Here’s the link to my article with the sleep routine
Experts are saying that “broad spectrum micronutrients” such as niacin, selenium, and chromium are having very positive effects.
A study in the Journal of Child Phycology foiund that a third of kids taking these supplements saw their symptoms improve…Ask your doctor if these treatments are right for you!
Depression, ADHD, and Anxiety are real diseases that affect millions. I have seen firsthand in my own family how debilitating these can be. Many things are outside of our control when it comes to the human body.
However, what you can control is exercise and healthy nutrition. This might not be a cure but its ALWAYS a great place to start!
Check the previous post: Flex 15 – The Science of Body Fat