The expert emphasizes the importance of physical activity as an ally in taking care of mental health

Regular physical activity helps control body weight and increase the muscle mass of the exerciser, but it is also essential to provide several other health benefits, such as regulating blood cholesterol levels, reducing the risk of diabetes, heart attack and stroke. In addition, regular exercise has been an important ally in protect mental health, reducing stress, anxiety and symptoms of depression.

In the capital city of Paraíba, the population of Pernambuco can exercise for free and with specialized professional supervision, through the Saúde em Movimento project. Offered by the municipality of João Pessoa, the project takes place daily in 33 centers throughout the city.

“The practice of physical activity is an important factor in the prevention and reduction of the risk of many diseases, and it is extremely important for taking care of physical and mental health. The benefits go beyond body fat mobilization and weight control, as they help regulate biochemical levels such as cholesterol, glucose and triglycerides. These rates affect the development of chronic diseases such as arterial hypertension, coronary heart disease, stroke, depression, some types of cancer, osteoarticular problems, among others”, explains physical education expert and Saúde em Movimento coordinator, Nicolas Travassos.

Mirza Artiaga is a retired teacher and has been diagnosed with severe depression. For her, leaving home was a huge effort, that’s when she found out about the City Hall project. “I felt very lonely, I was entering a new phase of my life and I didn’t get used to it, all this contributed to my falling into a very serious depression. Until one day, after a lot of insistence, my colleague was able to get me out of the house and take me to a class in the square, that’s when the change in my life began, in addition to improving my physical health, the project provides integration and socialization,” says the woman, a student at the Gameleira Saúde Center. em Movimento.

A study published in an American journal Molecular biology showed that regular gymnastics, with an average duration of 15 minutes, improves the function of brain structures involved in depressive disorder, such as the hippocampus, hypothalamus and amygdala, in addition to reducing the inflammatory process of neurons.

According to the study, regular exercise reduces inflammation of brain cells, mechanisms enhanced in depression; it increases levels of substances related to the nervous system and brain plasticity, such as serotonin and BNDF, a protective protein for neural connections, and improves the performance of communication between neurons and the function of brain structures associated with dissonance, such as the hippocampus, hypothalamus and amygdala.

“Saúde em Movimento gave me much more than quality of life, it also offered us friends, which was exactly what I needed. It was so difficult for me that I even thought about suicide, but the lectures came at the right time, there was my salve. In a short time I started to feel better and see the benefits of physical activity in my life, which is very good for the health of the body and everyone knows that, but it was the medicine I needed for my mental health”, says Mirza.

For Nicolas Travassos, conventional treatments, with antidepressants, are still essential, but physical activity can reduce the need to follow medication, especially in mild and moderate degrees, which include chronic feelings such as sadness, anxiety, discouragement, changes in sleep and appetite . “The studies are enough to convince us of something that has already been seen in the routine of our project, that physical activity is extremely important for guaranteeing a better quality of life for those who practice it and an excellent ally in mental health care.” , says the physical education expert.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 322 million people worldwide suffer from depression. There are more than 11 million cases in Brazil. A 2021 Vigitel survey shows that an average of 11.3% of Brazilians were diagnosed with depression between September 2021 and February 2022, and that high rates of depression in the pandemic are linked, among other factors, to sadness.

This is the case of dressmaker Djana Anterio, who has been struggling with depression for about two years, after losing her job and her brother due to Covid-19. “Every day is a struggle, I can’t always leave the house, but I try my hardest to attend classes, because every time I come here I leave refreshed, with courage and the will to keep fighting to get out of this depression. For many, it’s a small thing, but for me it’s a big change,” he says.

Realities like Mirza and Djana can easily be found in the daily life of the Saúde em Movimento project. In addition to overcoming depression, many students found a better quality of life with practice, and the activity was their ally in overcoming illness and even changing their lifestyle.

José Oliveira, 62, has been taking the courses for a short time, but says the benefits are already noticeable. “I started coming to encourage my wife to exercise and even without any illness I have already felt an improvement in the way I live. I had a lot of problems sleeping and in a little more than a month, participating in classes every day, I can sleep peacefully, I breathe much better, I feel more ready for the activities of my routine”, reports the pensioner.

“We talk so much about quality of life that it seems repetitive or something secondary, but when we manage to reduce the amount of medicine we take, sleep and breathe better, lead a peaceful life, that’s what we get and that’s how I feel, and I know it was possible only after I included physical activity in my daily life”, concludes Djane Anterio, seamstress and student of Saúde em Movimento.

Health in motion – The project is being developed by the Municipal Department of Health (SMS), in partnership with the Department of Education and Culture (Sedec), with the aim of improving the quality of life of the population, reducing diseases caused by a sedentary lifestyle and promoting a culture of activity. physical and health prevention. Classes are held Monday through Friday from 5:30 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. and Monday through Thursday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. You can access the list of pillars by clicking on this link:

Yellow September – Since 2014, the Brazilian Association of Psychiatrists, in partnership with the Federal Council of Medicine, has been organizing Yellow September on the national territory. The 10th of this month is officially World Suicide Prevention Day, but the initiative takes place throughout the year. Yellow September is currently the biggest anti-stigma campaign in the world, and this year’s motto is ‘Life is the best choice!’

According to the latest research conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO), there are more than 700,000 suicides in the world. In Brazil, records approach 14,000 cases per year, that is, an average of 38 people commit suicide per day.

In the capital city of Paraíba, according to data from the Disease Reporting Information System (SINAN NET) and the Mortality Information System (SIM), from the beginning of 2020 to the end of July this year, 104 deaths from self-harm were recorded. .intentionally, for suicide attempts, the figures reach 1164 cases, with 323 in 2022 alone.

To welcome and care for these people, the municipality of João Pessoa maintains a network of assistance consisting of a reference center for life care and centers for psychosocial care (CAPS), the help of psychologists and psychiatrists in the city’s polyclinics, alternative therapies in the integration centers and the addition of Ordinances in of Health (CPICS), except for hospital and emergency and urgent care through the Mental Health Emergency Service (PASM).

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