CALL US 0207 2929 140

Menu
Personal Trainer Blogs

PERSONAL TRAINER & FITNESS BLOGS

Banner Iamage Hazel Goudie
2 MIN READ

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

Written By

Hazel Goudie

Category

General Fitness

Posted On

16 December 2013

Share Article

December is Seasonal Affective Disorder awareness month.

What is SAD?

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is considered to be a seasonal depression. It usually affects people during the winter months, when there are fewer daylight hours and is often called ‘winter depression’ or the ‘winter blues’. However there are number of SAD sufferers who become depressed during the spring and summer months.

SAD is a real medical condition related to lower levels of neurotransmitters in the brain including serotonin and norepinephrine as well as disrupted circadian rhythms due to a lack of daylight.

Currently the most common form of treatment for this disorder is light therapy. This ‘tricks’ the brain into believing there are more daylight hours by adding additional light with the use of a light box.

What are the signs and symptoms of SAD?

  • Feelings of despair
  • Indecisiveness
  • Tearfulness
  • Loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities
  • Weight gain
  • A change in appetite
  • Social withdrawal
  • Irritability
  • Low self esteem
  • Lowered libido

Some sufferers begin the season with mild symptoms which progress and become more severe as the season progresses.

How can physical activity and exercise help?

Research suggests that physical activity/exercise can help boost mood (particularly running) and relieve stress and anxiety, both attributing factors of SAD. Research has found that 1 hour of physical activity/exercise outdoors has the same benefit as 2 and a half hours of light therapy, and that's even on cloudy days!

Therefore for optimal benefits it is suggested that exercise or physical activity is carried out in the daytime while in the winter months, early morning is more beneficial.

To ensure that adding exercise and/or physical activity to the sufferers routine does not cause further undue stress, the recommended exercise prescription is to include moderate activity for a minimum of 2 hours per week and outdoors if possible/suitable. This can be 30 minutes per day at least 5 times per week. The key is to fit the activity into the existing routine and not be an additional stressor.

Cardiovascular exercise has proven to be particularly effective at increasing energy throughout the day as opposed to exercise options such as weight lifting and other power activities. Therefore example exercises include a brisk walk or cycle or even sledding and snowball fights all of which are proven to help fight the winter blues.


blog comments powered by Disqus



  • Written By

    Hazel Goudie

    Category

    Exercise Referral

    Posted On

    27 February 2014

    Introduction Parkinson's Disease (PD) is a chronic, degenerative, neurologic disease. Meaning that the disease will increase in severity over time due to the degeneration of the nervous system and is not reversible. It is classed as a neurodegenerative disorder. PD most often occurs to people over the age of 50 and is one of the most common nervous system disorders of the elderly. It is most common in those in their 60’s, with a 2-4% risk of developing PD around this age. Other neurodegenerative disorders include Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease. This article will look at PD as a condition and the exercise benefits and considerations.

  • Written By

    Hazel Goudie

    Category

    Stress Management

    Posted On

    12 May 2014

    This article will look at stress and stress management techniques. It will define and analyse stressors and how stress can manifest, as well as review and evaluate the techniques and tools available to help reduce it. Stress primarily refers to whether a person feels that a stressor is worthy of anxiety (psychological/emotional), and then down to how the body reacts to the stressor (physiological). A stressor is anything that causes a person stress, and examples include events, people, situations, opinions and threats.

  • Written By

    Tom Godwin

    Category

    Exercise Referral

    Posted On

    20 January 2014

    Asthma is a common condition that personal trainers come across in the fitness environment. In many cases asthma is viewed as a non-condition and ignored, this should not be the case. Personal trainers should be aware of the implications of asthma and how to make sure that their clients are screened effectively prior to the start of an exercise routine. This screening should then form the basis of any exercise programmes generated to make sure the programme is not just effective but safe. So what exactly is asthma, well it is a condition where there is a temporary and reversible narrowing of the airways. This is signalled by shortness of breath, wheezing a tightening in the chest and on some occasions a cough. Asthma attacks can vary massively in terms of severity, with extreme cases requiring an ambulance. Eventually the condition can lead to the onset of COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder) or become classed as chronic asthma.

  • Written By

    Adam Willis

    Category

    Personal Training

    Posted On

    21 July 2016

    In the fast-paced and ever changing world of Sport where athlete’s live in the World of Wins, Loses, Kilos, Seconds and Centimetres the role of the Strength Coach has become a key component of every athlete’s sport preparation. It is nearly impossible in this day and age to look on social media and not see some freak athlete performing an outrageous feat of Strength or Power under the watchful eye of their coach. Whether programmed or done to boost followers, like sex, these videos sell! However you view it the position of Strength Coach is now sexy, not Eva Mendez sexy, put pretty close.

  • Written By

    Hannah Tyldesley

    Category

    Nutrition, Personal Training

    Posted On

    18 May 2016

    We’ve all been there. You invite your favourite group of friends over for dinner, spend hours salving at the chopping board and steaming at the oven only to be informed last minute that one awkward friend has made the decision to go ‘gluten free’. Once an unheard of choice is now more fashionable that the latest Prada. You’re almost an anomaly if you’re not gluten free. Supermarkets hold back entire isles for ‘free from’ products and most restaurants mark clearly and proudly their ‘GF’ options. But unless diagnosed with a disagreement, how beneficial is this Gwyneth Paltrow inspired change?

  • Written By

    Tom Godwin

    Category

    Exercise Referral

    Posted On

    28 April 2016

    Arthritis is a condition that effects many clients in the UK and as a fitness professional there is a strong chance at some point during your career you will work with a client who may be suffering with arthritis. There are two types of arthritis that people can suffer with: Osteoarthritis this is where there is damage to the cartilage of a joint and is most commonly due to wear and tear. This is normally localised and common in hips and knees, or any joints that have seen excessive use. The condition will greatly effect movement and results in pain, leading to in many cases a loss in the level of functional ability. It is generally localised to the joints effected, and does not spread. This condition is brought on by obesity, repetitive movement patterns, impact through the joint, or trauma.