Posts Tagged ‘depression’

Norba Nationals, Mammoth Lakes, CA - Jul 2001

Norba Nationals, Mammoth Lakes, CA – Jul 2001

I am an exuberant animal, dancing my way through life exploring every nook and cranny that is presented to me on this journey. My year round interest is ice hockey. I don’t play that much any more, so when I say ice hockey, I’m referring to the players that I develop, both on and off the ice. During the summer in my free time I’m in the mountain hiking with my dog and during the winter I’m snowshoeing with him. On the slopes during the summer I’m mountain biking, and during the winter I’m skiing. My current projects are developing an elite strength and conditioning program for Washington Ice Skating Association (Seattle Juniors Hockey Association and Seattle Skating Club). Also providing functional fitness and correction exercise services at an integrative medical clinic (Masa Integrative Clinic) in Seattle, Washington.

From as early as I can remember, my life has revolved around physical activity. Skiing, mountain biking, and hiking have all been the staples of physical activity throughout my life. When I was 9 I discovered ice hockey in the movie “The Cutting Edge”. From that day, I have been obsessed with the sport. I’ve always been passionate about fitness. The most recent catalyst for change came when I was living in Los Angeles in 2012. I had moved from Kirkland, Washington back to Los Angeles, California to be reunited with my closest friends since I moved to Washington to attend Bastyr University. When I moved back, I was my heaviest at 195 pounds. I had never been that heavy. As time went on, I continued gaining weight and hit 210 pounds in late 2012. I realized something needed to change! A better way to say that is transform! I wrote down all the tools that I used with clients to improve their lives and applied them to myself! I can now say “Wow this stuff really works”. I haven’t looked back since. I’m now 178-180 pounds. I want to add a caveat that weight is not an important number to look at overall, but for me it had meaning. And that is the key, find what inspires you to transform your life.

Without fitness I would not be where I am physically, mentally, or spiritually. Fitness has given my life purpose, and a community that has a universal language. I don’t care what type of physical activity someone participates in it’s fitness. The fitness world as a whole has given me the opportunity to touch lives, that I would not have been able to touch without my knowledge of fitness.

Maintaining a high level of fitness allows me to continue to inspire others, while continuing to participate in the physical activities that keep me inspired.

Maintaining a high level of fitness allows me to continue to inspire others, while continuing to participate in the physical activities that keep me inspired.

My driving force is leading by example. Being able to demonstrate what I’m expecting from my athletes and clients is very important. Also being able to participate in all of the sports and activities that I’m passionate about. In the long run, I take care of myself in the hopes of having a long healthy life. I’m the only child of two amazing parents that have not had the easiest of lives and I have the most amazing stories to tell because of that. My parents have been the most encouraging and supportive part of my life. In whatever I chose to pursue, they were always there to ensure I had a plan in place, to ensure that I was making progress. They offered this support for my desire to race BMX as a kid to the 20 plus years of ice hockey, and attending Bastyr University. Outside of my family, I’ve always had the most amazing mentors and coaches. For example I’ve had the same skating coach since I was 9 years old! My psychology mentor I’ve had since I was 14. Of course that relationship started with me being a patient. But hey, he’s a mentor now. More recently a former professor of mine from Bastyr has become a great inspiration and mentor. The honesty was not always easy to hear, but without the unrelenting support and encouragement of these people, I would not have been able to confidently pursue my passion for athletic performance, fitness, and wellness.

The most difficult thing to face thus far has been the numerous head injuries I’ve sustained over the years. I believe I am up to 12 concussions and 1 brain contusion. The concussions are not the obstacle. The contusion however changed the course of my life. Don’t get me wrong, the course of my life has lead me to this moment, which I’m honored to have. As an 18 year old being told that I could never play hockey, race downhill mountain bikes, go skiing/snowboarding, or four-wheeling ever again, broke my heart. That realization sent me into a place that I never wish on any of my athletes or clients.  Following my contusion diagnosis; there was a 5-year span of my life that was incredibly scary for my parents. But with the support of so many, I over came that barrier to become the coach I am today. Speaking of this time, I am inspired to do a presentation on the importance of sensitive communication when dealing with athletes who are recovering from an injury.

It's very important for me as a Coach to lead by example ~ Coach Daniel

It’s very important for me as a Coach to lead by example ~ Coach Daniel

I don’t have a set routine but I always have fun and try to stay injury free. My favorite tools though include TRX suspension, Rip Kettle bells, Barbells, Dumbbells, and of course bodyweight. Every workout does include the following:

Dynamic warm-up

Power Component

Strength Component

Agility Component

Aerobic Component

Flexibility & Mobility Components

When it comes to supplements, I stick to the items that have been shown to maintain brain health because of the severity of the brain injuries I’ve sustained, most of these products come from Metagenics. I take a high potency DHA, Co-Q10, and Multiple Vitamin Mineral. Sometimes I’ll add protein powder to my yogurt or make a smoothie. To manage my pain, I take a product called Inflavanoid Intensive Care, which is a combination of anti-inflammatory herbs.

The following are examples of how I usually eat; as with my workouts, my meals vary as well. I do my best to ensure that I’m getting a healthy dose of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and healthy fats. For my own personal health; I am gluten free and take supplements specific to my health needs.

Breakfast – Greek Yogurt with peanut butter, dark chocolate chunks, and blue berries Snack – Coffee with soy milk
Lunch – Sandwich (gluten free bread) with lots of spinach, onions, and an animal based protein.

Snack – protein bar or drink
. Dinner – Vegetables and an animal protein.

I want to maintain my current fitness level and remain injury free. It’s that simple. I’m always preparing to participate in an event. Currently I’m contemplating getting back into racing down hill mountain bikes.

Am I an exuberant animal ~ Daniel Heller

Am I an exuberant animal ~ Daniel Heller

Are you lacking motivation?

If that phrase comes up, sit with it. What does it mean to you, the reader? If it’s not sitting right, try another phrase, “I’m not motivated to go to the gym.” That’s totally fine, what are you motivated to do? What does that motivation feel like? Use that motivation to create a goal. If you’re uncertain how to accomplish that goal, remember there is someone out there who has had the goal and accomplished it; who is also willing to guide you. You’re not alone! Fitness is an open-heart community full of people willing and wanting to support each other.

Personal Note: I would like to talk about the importance of community. What Socially Fit has created by bringing people together to share their fitness journey in a social way is incredibly powerful to those who need community support to accomplish their goals. Thank you for this opportunity to share my journey, inspirations, and future with your audience. I’m looking forward to continuing this journey of athletic performance with you. I hope that my journey inspires others to take charge of their own lives and to seek out the community that can offer the support they need to continue with their journey to fitness, health & wellness!

Daniel Heller, BSc, CSCS, FMSC
Email: daniel@ironwood-fitness.com
Website: http://www.IronwoodFitness.com
Twitter: @CoachDCSCS

Serious Health Effects of Depression Medication

Antidepressants are the most widely used drugs in the United States, with a whopping 11 percent of Americans over the age of 12 taking them under a doctor’s supervision.

The number of people taking antidepressants has skyrocketed 400 percent from 2005 to 2008. They are the most widely used drugs in the United States, with a whopping 11 percent of Americans over the age of 12 taking them under a doctor’s supervision. But, because antidepressants are relatively new medications and their massive prevalence is a recent phenomenon, little is known about both the short- and long-term effects of these drugs.

An estimated one-in-ten people report suffering from depression, and let’s be clear — depression is not a situational sadness, it is a lasting and pervasive mood disorder. However, many experts question its classification as a true disease, stating that there is no clear evidence that the “chemical imbalance” many doctors blame for the symptoms of depression actually exists at all. This aside, many people rely on prescription drugs to treat their depression, sometimes not fully understanding the risks involved with their medication.

There are several different, widely used medications prescribed for the treatment of depression. The most common antidepressants are known as SSRIs or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. They work by limiting the reuptake of serotonin in the brain. This reportedly assists in the management of depression because it’s suspected that low levels of serotonin (the feel-good brain chemical) is associated with depressive symptoms. By preventing reuptake, more of the chemical is circulating in the brain. These drugs include Zoloft, Prozac, Celexa, Paxil and Lexapro.

As with all modern medications, there is a laundry list of potential side effects with antidepressants. These are the effects you that are rattled off on commercials—the effects that lead you to wonder if the potential benefits justify the potential risks.

Short term effects of antidepressants

As with all modern medications, there is a laundry list of potential side effects with antidepressants. These are the effects you that are rattled off on commercials—the effects that lead you to wonder if the potential benefits justify the potential risks.

They include:

  • Dry mouth
  • Lack of sex drive
  • Insomnia
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Weight gain
  • Drowsiness
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Sweating
  • Dizziness
  • Anxiety

These effects of antidepressants are often most noticeable when you first begin taking the prescription. As the body adjusts to the chemicals within the drug, the effects will reportedly become less noticeable.

Long term effects of antidepressants

The long term effects of antidepressants are largely unknown. This is because most of these drugs haven’t been in circulation for very long, and of those that have—few unbiased (not funded by the drug manufacturers) studies have been conducted. However, research has found the following to be possible long-term effects of antidepressant use:

Increased stroke risk: A study published in the journal Neurology indicated that patients taking SSRI drugs have a 50 percent greater chance of suffering an intracranial hemorrhage and a 40 percent greater risk of suffering an intracerebral hemorrhage when compared with people not taking antidepressants.
The FDA’s MedWatch Adverse Events Reporting System reported that antidepressant use by pregnant women suffering from depression was responsible for more than 4,000 critical birth defects and heart defects, almost 3,000 spontaneous abortions, and 3,000 premature births. In all, antidepressants are said to increase the risk of miscarriage by 68 percent.

The FDA’s MedWatch Adverse Events Reporting System reported that antidepressant use by pregnant women suffering from depression was responsible for more than 4,000 critical birth defects and heart defects, almost 3,000 spontaneous abortions, and 3,000 premature births. In all, antidepressants are said to increase the risk of miscarriage by 68 percent.

Thicker arteries: Potentially the cause of the increased stroke risk and additional risk of heart disease, scientists have found that taking SSRI drugs can increase the thickness of your arteries. Even when other standard heart disease risk factors were taken into consideration, scientists found that those who use antidepressants generally have thicker arteries, boosting the risk of related arterial diseases.

Birth defects and miscarriages: The FDA’s MedWatch Adverse Events Reporting System reported that antidepressant use by pregnant women suffering from depression  was responsible for more than 4,000 critical birth defects and heart defects, almost 3,000 spontaneous abortions, and 3,000 premature births. In all, antidepressants are said to increase the risk of miscarriage by 68 percent.

Suicide: Tragically ironic, many studies have linked the use of antidepressants with an increased risk of suicide, suicide attempts and even worse depression symptoms.

Sudden cardiac death: Women who take antidepressants are twice as likely to suffer sudden cardiac death than those not on the medications. Antidepressants have also been linked to increased risk of autism in children, higher rates of breast cancer, and even bone density depletion. There are risks to taking any prescription drug. But people often accept those risks as par for the course — believing a doctor’s advice is the best advice there is.

While antidepressants may provide much needed help to millions of people, they could also be harming us in yet-unknown ways. What we do know, however, is that some types of therapy has been proven even more effective than antidepressants, and that both a proper diet and regular exercise can go a long way in regulating mood and improving mental status without drugs.

Your friends at Socially Fit

Article written by Elizabeth Renter  for www.voxxi.com

Life Is Like A Box Of Chocolates…

Everyday presents its own struggles, some more daunting to overcome than others. This is a part of life itself. We have all learned at an early age that things do not always go our way. This includes our mental state when it comes to engaging in our fitness routine.

There are many things that can have a negative effect on the way we workout. These negatives can also prevent us from hitting the gym altogether. A poor performance at the gym is very dangerous. This can lead to improper form and injuries. We do not need to compound our stress with an injury that we can prevent.

When we are not engaged mentally, physical activity becomes a chore. No one enjoys chores. There are many stresses that can play the part of that mental anchor which holds us down; money, relationships, work, among many other issues we may face in our day-to-day lives.

How do we conquer these roadblocks? This is another mystery. Everyone handles problems in their own manner. Some people actually find running, lifting weights or bike riding great for stress relief. Others just can not find the energy to do anything. What would you suggest to someone who really enjoys exercising but is facing one of life’s curveballs?