Helping to Overcome Depression in Diabetes

During the month of April 2016, the Journal of Nursing Research reports three factors having to do with depression in Type 2 diabetes…

  • lack of sleep,
  • little physical activity, and
  • frequent times of inactivity.

Registered Nurses at Chang Gung University of Science and Technology looked at 696 older participants diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. A total of 16.8 percent of these participants suffered from depression. It was concluded promoting sleep by increasing daily physical activity plus a more active lifestyle are needed to fight depression in people who have been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.

Physical activity inspires your brain to make endorphins. These endorphins are molecules similar to morphine and are known for helping us to feel happy. So it is not surprising exercise is a good treatment for depression. Exercise is, of course, also useful for weight control and raising insulin sensitivity, which in turn lowers blood sugar levels and helps prevent or control Type 2 diabetes…

  • walking,
  • swimming,
  • bicycle riding, and
  • dancing

are all ideal aerobic physical activities. These activities make your heart rate, and breathing go faster, uses up calories, and in turn, leads to physical fitness.

People often do not walk because they perceive their neighborhoods as lacking amenities, or connecting streets that are good for walking. That can be a misconception, so check your area for interesting places to walk. Or try a walk in the park or on the beach with your dog. If you do not have a dog, borrow one. Or ask some friends or neighbors to walk with you and catch up on all the news.

For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, spring has just begun, and summer will be here soon, so get out your swimsuits: the ocean and pools are calling. If you do not have a pool, make friends with someone who does. If you are close enough, a day at the beach might be just what the doctor ordered to cheer you up. Alternatively…

  • cycling is a good way to be active. Find some safe bike trails or a park that allows bicycles.
  • dancing is great exercise – whether you waltz or belly dance. So have some fun taking lessons or get your partner out onto the floor with you. Belly dancing has the advantage of not needing a partner, and you can share it at parties if you dare, or practice at home. Community centers and junior colleges often offer dance classes.