Be active without back pain

We all strive for healthy aging, and that includes a healthy back. But so many of us are plagued with back pain as we get older. At the grocery store I see people who I think are about my age hunched over their cart and taking very slow steps, possibly because they’re in so much pain. And I see heartbreaking posts from friends on social media who are forced to cancel fun plans because of their back pain. For me, back pain comes and goes – and fortunately it’s mostly gone these days. So, how can we be active without back pain?

Bend the right way

We all know to not use our backs when we lift heavy objects. Bend your knees, squat and pick it up. Use the strength in your thighs, not your back. Keep your back straight when you lift. And when something is absolutely too heavy to lift, ask for help. I know that’s hard…

Suck it in!

Healthy aging involves a strong core. And that helps you to Be active without back pain.
The side plank – yet another plank variation – helps you get a strong core so you can be active without back pain.

I’ve been saying to tighten your core quite a bit these days. But, it’s the safest way to carry something. And when you’re straightening up from a squat or a crouch, suck it in. It really helps. Having a strong core leads to a strong back! I’ve been making an effort to focus more on my core for the last couple of years and have (knock on wood!) experienced hardly any back pain lately. I used to be the poster child for having a heating pad on my lower back. And that would be real torture this summer with the heat and humidity we’ve had. My hip bursitis would combine with sciatica in years past and it was so painful that I could hardly move. 

Equalize the load

If you carry a heavy shoulder bag, you could be contributing to your back pain. Switch sides every once in a while, or use a backpack. (I’ve tried to carry my bag on my right shoulder but it just feels wrong.)

Healthy mind leads to a healthy back

The experts at Advocate Aurora Health say that a healthy mind also leads to a healthy back. When people with an optimistic outlook get back pain, they tend to feel better sooner. “A positive mental attitude can help in handling back pain so that you bounce back fast and don’t let it turn into a chronic condition. Meditation can reduce stress and muscle tightness.” While it may not seem possible to achieve a positive outlook when you have back pain, there are things you can do to become more optimistic. And even a short guided meditation (like the “Garden Walk Guided Meditation” that you can download) will help reduce stress.

A healthy back for healthy aging

Living life pain-free is certainly the goal for those of us over 50. And while most people under 50 probably don’t think of back pain, they should probably pay attention to ways to maintain a healthy back too. Just keep a few things in mind: suck it in, and be careful how you lift and carry things.

Lift weights at my age?

There are loads of fitness myths and misinformation out there. Things you read about that sound like they might be true. Like if you, as a woman over 50, lift heavy weights, you’ll still get bulky and misshapen like a bodybuilder, so it makes sense to lift lighter weights and do more repetitions.

The fact is that, no matter what age you are, if you’re a woman, lifting heavy weights will not bulk up your muscles. Kristen Turner, a health navigator with Advocate Lutheran General Hospital, says, “Women do not gain muscle mass the same way men do, nor will they “bulk up” through training with challenging heavier weights.” In fact, the Centers for Disease Control recommends that everyone 65 and older include 2 days a week of weight training for their healthy aging. So, yes, I do lift weights at my age (and I’m 67)!

The truth about weightlifting

Yes, I do lift weights at my age! Here's a biceps curl.
Biceps curl with a lunge!

Your strength workout doesn’t have to take forever. In fact, Turner suggests just 8-12 repetitions, 8-10 exercises, that focus on all major muscle groups. The weights you use should be challenging, but not impossible. They shouldn’t be too light, either. Your twice-a-week strength workout will give you improved tone, strength and will help in weight management. The more muscle you have, the more calories and fat you will burn, giving you an overall toned physique. And I’ve found that with strength training comes more stamina. Gravity is evil, but we’re all subject to it. Our strong muscles will help carry us wherever we want to go.

Do I need free weights

You can get a great strength workout using just your own body weight. The plank pose, and all of its variations, will work virtually every muscle in your body. And all you need is the floor. As I mentioned in a previous article, if you can’t do the full plank at first, there’s always a modification. The plank pose works your arms, your shoulders, your core, and your legs.

If you want to go the free weight route at home, like I do, I did a little searching online for prices. These days you can get a pair of 3-, 5- and 8-pound weights and a stand for them for less than $100. These are certainly heavy enough for you to get started, and probably for quite a while after that.

What I do

I work out 4 – 5 days a week. 2 days I run / walk for 20 minutes on the treadmill and do 10 minutes of core work after the run. 1 day a week I do a Pilates routine (30 minutes) with a resistance band, which makes it more challenging. And 2 days a week I do combined aerobics and free weights, 30 – 40 minutes. Yes, I do lift weights at my age!

Get strong for your healthy aging

Don’t be scared of strength training. Lift weights – or at least heavy tomato cans – for your healthy aging.

Yes, you need more sleep

True confession time: I’ll start. I haven’t been sleeping well lately. How about you? If you’re like most Americans you haven’t been getting the prescribed 7 to 9 hours nightly either. (ref: Centers for Disease Control) And, chances are if you are sleeping for 7 hours it may not be good quality. I know when I wake up, the sheets are all twisted and the pillows are often on the floor. (Although that might be from my dog’s wiggling around.) We need good quality sleep for our health and well-being. Back in the early days of the pandemic I wrote that sleep difficulties were common. Things haven’t changed a whole lot in the last couple of years.

What happens when you don’t get enough?

If we don’t get enough zzzz’s, we run the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Sleeping better and for a longer time can help in regulating blood sugar, which is an indicator of diabetes. 

Not getting enough zzz’s has also been linked to obesity. This can have had its roots in childhood – it’s linked to brain development in children and insufficient sleep can adversely affect the hypothalamus which regulates appetite and the expenditure of energy. However, studies have revealed an association between short sleep and excess weight in all ages. So, we’re not exempt from this. If we’re overweight as adults, don’t use the old “I’m too tired to eat right and exercise” excuse!

It’s been suggested that insufficient duration and sleep disorders contribute to depression. The CDC reports that rest disturbance has been a notable symptom of depression, but it could be that other symptoms of depression decrease with better sleep.

No one is exempt

No one is exempt from the need for 7 to 9 hours. Jennifer Lopez related the story of the panic attack she had in the early days of her career brought on by lack of sleep. Now JLo makes sleep a priority. In fact, it’s an important part of her healthy aging routine.

How to sleep better

Exercise during the day can lead to better sleep at night.
Exercise during the day can lead to better sleep at night.

Here are some recommendations from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine on how to get enough, and better quality rest:

  • Be like JLo and prioritize your sleep. Plan on a bedtime that will give you those 7 to 9 hours. Go to bed at the same time every day and wake up at the same time – even on the weekends.
  • Make sure the environment is conducive to sleep. Your room should be comfortable, dark and a good temperature. Most people have better rest when it’s a little cool.
  • If you can’t bear to take electronics out of the bedroom, turn them off a half hour before bed.
  • Don’t eat large meals or drink alcohol just before bed.
  • Exercise: physical activity during the day can help you sleep better.

Even though you may not have known all the implications, this is really nothing very new. Eat right, exercise, and get your 7 to 9 hours a night for healthy aging.

Turn your rough day around

Lately it seems I’ve been having a series of rough days. Days when hardly anything goes right. I’ve learned that you can’t change the outside world, so when important banking software crashes, you really can’t do anything about it. When it’s pouring and you have to make 5 stops after work, put your raincoat on. What you can change, though, is your mindset to turn your rough day around.

Change what you can for the positive

The first thing is to figure out if you can change anything that you previously thought you couldn’t. Can you postpone any of your errands to a day when it’s not raining? If your banking task is crucial, can you do it in person? If you can’t change things, give a mental sigh, take a deep breath and say to yourself, “Oh well. I’d better get changed, then.” If it were me having to run errands on a sopping wet day, I’d reward myself with a refreshing beverage. 

Change your immediate mindset

If, when you get home, things are still so rough that you’re having a hard time concentrating, it may be time to close your eyes for a few minutes and clear your mind. Listen to a short guided meditation or just let your brain clear out. This is what Dr. Donna Williams, a family medicine physician at Advocate South Suburban Hospital, recommends. Or if you’re feeling antsy, take a brief walk.

More long-term change for your mindset

Exercise - and my dog - turn my rough day around. Releasing endorphins and a dose of instant happiness.
Exercise – and my dog – turn my rough day around.

When I go to bed in a bad mood, I have trouble sleeping, so I try to change my mood before bedtime. Most days I exercise in the late afternoon which makes me feel more positive about my world. Dr. Kiran Bojedla, a family medicine physician at Advocate Christ Medical Center, agrees. “On days I feel tired or overworked, I often find the endorphin release from a run or short workout made my day better. It doesn’t have to be much – even a short 20-minute walk around your neighborhood can give you a feeling of accomplishment and boost your mood.”

On days when I don’t feel like exercising (most days), but do it anyway, I feel completely virtuous after a workout and the world certainly looks better. And that endorphin release that Dr. Bojedla mentions lasts for hours.

You’ll increase your resilience too

Consciously improving your mindset will make you happier. Happiness increases optimism, which increases your resilience. Improve your mindset, get happy and more resilient. You know that there will be tough days in the future. It happens that way for everyone. With increased resilience you’ll be able to face those tough days with more equanimity.

Keeping track of everything is impossible

Keeping track of everything is impossible. Stuff that you think you should know, like the size and brand of your favorite pair of jeans, you just can’t pull out of your brain. Or the title of the next book in the series you’re reading. And the albums you already own by your favorite music group (is that a thing with streaming any more???) What was the name of that new Thai restaurant you want to try? The web sites you want to check out. 

Keeping track of everything is impossible. Eliminate the mental clutter to focus on more important things.
Eliminate the mental clutter to focus on more important things.

And yet we all try to hold this stuff in our heads. The mental clutter just increases our anxiety, plays havoc with our peace of mind and with our health. All the random thoughts running through our brains distract us from the things we should be focusing on. So, if we get rid of all that mental junk, we’ll be able to focus on those more important things. Like improving our mindset and our physical health. When we’re able to focus on these important facets of our life, we’re happier too.

I tried to put all of this stuff on pieces of paper, but, needless to say, I couldn’t find the one I wanted when I needed it, and I had little pieces of paper all over the place, contributing to the masses of paper clutter.

A low-tech solution

One way I’ve found to keep all this on hand is on paper, yes, but in a notebook. In one of those multi-ringed binders or notebooks with the card-sized inserts. One card per item so that when you don’t need the reminder any longer, or if your size or preferences change, you can discard the old card and insert the new one.

Productivity expert Laura Stack advocates the use of “category lists” in a small binder: “’It’s not like you’re constantly reviewing these lists,’ she says, but they need to be with you (in a small binder, maybe) so that when you do unexpectedly find 15 minutes to run into a bookstore or pop into the hardware store, you’re ready.”

This will help in keeping track of everything, but it can take time to record everything and to find the pertinent item. So, I don’t believe that this is an ideal solution.

Digital solution

I use Google Keep – a free list tool. It’s pretty basic, but it’s searchable. So it’s perfect to keep track of random things. If I have to run to the store to pick up a few items. I make a new Keep list and open it when I’m at the store. I can check on the books I haven’t read by my favorite authors when I’m at a used bookshop. And I can check and see if any of the books I want to read are at that used bookshop.

Another nice thing about Google Keep is that my lists are synchronized among my devices. And when I no longer need one of these lists, I can simply delete or archive it. That keeps my head clear and my desk (relatively) clear too. So while I can’t keep track of everything, I can keep track of the things that are important to me – with a little help.

Too close to home

It happened here

Everyone always says, “It can’t happen here.” Well, it happened here – or just a few miles down the road. The shooting at the Highland Park, IL Independence Day parade, just a few days ago, just a few miles away took our collective breath away. Nowhere is safe. Expect it anywhere, anytime. So, how do you shift your mindset to a place of peace following tragedy?

Dealing with tragic news

Even if a tragedy like a mass shooting incident does not involve you directly, when it’s physically close to home it hits people hard. I first learned of the shooting from a post by a friend and my brain just stopped working. I was with my sister and we turned on the TV. Of course all the local stations were covering the story but it was too early to learn any details – just that it happened. 

Our friends in Highland Park

By then we’re thinking of all our friends who live in Highland Park. And of course it’s a natural thing to go to the parade on the 4th of July. Immediately we texted and messaged those friends to make sure they were OK. But we were in shock. My mindset was spiraling down, and I could feel the anxiety start.

Our friends were fine – a couple had started to head to the parade, but they were late and the roads were already closed. Knowing that our friends were not involved did not make the anxiety go away. This happened, and it was bad. It’s natural to ask, “How will I ever be safe again?”

Methods for coping

The first step in processing a tragedy like this is just to accept that it happened. You can’t lie to yourself and make it go away. But obsessing over the news coverage is also not helping to shift your mindset.

Stick to your normal routine

Sticking to your routine will help shift your mindset away from anxiety and get you back to "normal" sooner
Sticking to your routine will help shift your mindset away from anxiety and get you back to “normal” sooner.

Keeping to your normal routine is an important way to process a tragedy, according to Dr. Munther Barakat, Director of Behavioral Therapy at Aurora Psychiatric Hospital in Wauwatosa, Wis. By maintaining our regular schedule, we can shift our mindset back to our normal happier one in less time. It’s important not to neglect basic self-care – keep to your normal sleep routine, eat healthy meals, schedule your workouts as usual. Maintaining your regular routines will strengthen your resilience and make you more able to face the future.

Exercise works

Exercise helps me cope with my anxiety. I have to focus on what I’m doing so I don’t trip over my own feet or kick the dogs, so exercise helps shift my mindset. And that shift lasts after the workout as well.

Walk in nature

If you don’t feel up to an intense workout, just taking a walk helps to improve your mindset as well. Fifteen to twenty minutes or so of deep breathing and looking at trees helps enormously. Of course, if these coping techniques aren’t working for you – if your anxiety grows, if you’re losing sleep and productivity at work, you may want to talk to a professional about it.

Bad people are still out there

Bad people will always be in the world. But we don’t have to dwell on their existence. Shift your mindset. Be happier with yourself and your corner of the world.

A strong core leads to life without limits

Get a strong core for healthy aging.
Get a strong core for healthy aging.

I include some core exercises every time I work out. It’s not that I particularly enjoy them (I don’t). Or that they feel good (they don’t). But a strong core means that my back doesn’t hurt as much – or at all. And a strong core means that I’m less apt to fall. A strong core means a happier me. Consequently, this means that improving core strength is crucial for healthy aging.

A few years ago I fell on an uneven sidewalk, triggering incredibly painful hip bursitis and sciatica. I couldn’t move normally for weeks, and needed physical therapy to get back to some activities I enjoy. As a result, while I was sidelined, I researched ways to prevent falls. I discovered that falling is a common problem with the elderly – fully 25% of people over 65 in the US fall and require medical assistance. With a little more research, I discovered that having a strong core is the solution to many ailments that prevent seniors from living a full and active life.

What is the core?

Your core is much more than your abdominal muscles – your “6-pack.” Sure, your core includes that, as well as everything else in your torso and further down, including your hips, lower back and backside. Stabilizing your pelvis and spine, helping your body maintain posture as well as keeping us mobile are just a part of what your core is used for. 35 different muscles in your core “keep you upright and strong.”

Your core helps balance

You know that I emphasize balance. (Get your Week of Balance for tips on improving your balance.) Your core helps to keep you upright and stable, which maintains your balance. And your core will help you navigate uneven surfaces. If your core is too weak, you won’t have a chance of adjusting your pace or posture.

Your core helps your posture

I see many older people with rounded spines who walk with canes. I want to walk upright. My core helps with that – it includes all the muscles that wrap around my spine. If those muscles are strong, they can hold me upright, even when I’m sitting. If I’m upright, my head is held high and my self-confidence grows. Likewise, if I’m upright, I’m breathing better. Try this: sit in a chair, pull in your stomach and sit up straight. And breathe normally for 10 seconds. Now slump – the way you usually do – and breathe. Harder, isn’t it?

Strong core for a strong back

Ever have sciatica? It hurts. A lot. Shooting pain from your lower back down your leg. And how’s your lower back? When you get up from a chair do you hang onto your back because it’s so painful? Strengthening your core will help you back. Just sucking in your stomach (practice this – it may take you a little while to get the hang of it) when you’re standing up really helps too. Try it: when you’re sitting in a chair and are getting ready to stand up – even if you’re using the chair arms or a table to hang onto for support – suck in your stomach, plant your feet and push off. Better, right?

Everyday activities

So, your core holds you up and it helps you get up. It stands to reason that a strong core will help you in all your daily activities. Getting into and out of a car, walking around a grocery store, bending to put groceries in your car and take them out. 

Strong core for healthy aging

Are you convinced that your core is the key to living a normal life without having to worry about falling? Without worrying about how to stand up from a chair? And without planning how to get in and out of your car? If I’m three rooms away and discover that I left my water glass in the kitchen – after I sat down, I just stand up and get it. Not thinking about how to do everyday things should not be a luxury. A strong core really does lead to life without limits. 

How to get one

So – how do you strengthen your core? You’re convinced that you need a strong core, but don’t know how to start? Good news – crunches are not mandatory, and neither are planks. These are two very effective exercises for strengthening your core muscles, but they’re certainly not the only ones. 

And if your doctor has told you that you should lose some weight – don’t wait to start strengthening your core. You do have muscles under there, so start working them.

Suck it in

Start with sitting in a chair and pulling in your stomach muscles. Hold it … for 15 seconds, release and do it again. And one more time.

Leg lift

Still sitting, with your stomach pulled in and not holding on if you don’t have to, raise one leg with the knee bent. Moderate speed, then put it down carefully. And the other leg. 12 times. 

If you can do this exercise with your leg straight, go for it.

Leg circle

Sitting or standing with your stomach sucked in, draw a half-circle on the floor with your toe, leg extended. If you’re standing, you can hang onto the back of a chair or the wall for balance. 8 each side.

Knee pull

Standing – you can hang onto the back of a chair or the wall for this – while your stomach is still sucked in, pull your knee up to your chest and put it down.

Balance exercises

All of the balance exercises in the Week of Balance utilize your core without your realizing it – take advantage of the benefits of these exercises.

That’s just a start – there are so many more core strengthening exercises. All to help your balance, posture, breathing, health. Get a strong core for your healthy aging.

Achieving goals is one route to happiness

What’s your pie-in-the-sky goal?

Achieving goals is one route to happiness. A kiss from Booker is another.
Achieving goals is one route to happiness. A kiss from Booker is another.

What’s your pie-in-the-sky goal? Mine is to get an Agility Championship with my dog. I can’t do it in one, two or five trials. And there’s a lot of training to get done before that goal is even approachable. And that’s the key. Achieving smaller, intermediate goals is the route to happiness.

Of course, life is multi-faceted. There’s work, family, home, hobbies. I advocate setting goals for every facet of life. Last year one of my goals was to make chocolate macarons. I’m not the best baker in the family (that’s my sister) but I did my research and made a batch of really good chocolate macarons. That’s another key to achieving your goals. After you think of something you want to do, figure out if you have the skill sets you need to accomplish it. If you don’t have the skills – right now – then figure out the skills you need and how to go about learning them.

Goals that are just the right size

You know that setting goals is the first step to getting stuff done. (As I wrote in “Set goals – big and little.”) And achieving a goal will certainly give you a sense of satisfaction. Without goals your life can seem directionless. Goals can indeed give your life purpose and direction, but goals that are too strict can be rigid and confining. Similarly, goals that don’t challenge you will leave you feeling incomplete. And setting goals that are too huge can be overwhelming. So, the secret is to set a series of smaller goals that set you on the path to the big goal you really want to attain. Achieving the goals that really matter to you and clarify your path will surely set you on the road to happiness.

Set your intermediate goals

Finding direction for every aspect of your life is the way to a life with purpose. I don’t specifically look for a purpose to my life, but at the same time I don’t want to just drift along aimlessly either. A recent study from the journal Frontiers in Psychology found that more internally motivated workers felt more satisfaction in their roles. We can extrapolate that to everyday life. People who are motivated to do things are probably happier than those who drift along aimlessly. 

Once you have your big goals, set those intermediate goals that will put you on the path to that pie in the sky. Happiness is on that road.

How to motivate yourself to exercise

You know you should exercise (for your healthy aging if no other reason) but can’t find your motivation. You’ve changed into your workout clothes and everything, but you’re still not feeling inspired. Sound familiar? You’re getting frustrated because you feel like you should know what to do, but just can’t get to it. Or you’re at the gym and are bored just looking at the row of treadmills. You’re at that motivation crossroads. You can exercise and feel great – improve your mindset and increase your endorphins, or not exercise and feel guilty that you didn’t. Here’s how to motivate yourself to exercise.

Are you bored with the prospect?

Motivate yourself to exercise with different moves.
Motivate yourself to exercise with different moves.

Business motivation expert Art Markman, PhD, professor of psychology and marketing at the University of Texas, has identified three reasons you may be procrastinating. The first may be that you fear boredom. Like dreading that time on the treadmill because you’re afraid you’ll be bored out of your mind. I dislike running too, but get on that treadmill twice a week like clockwork.

Dr. Markman advocates a little distraction when you’re tackling boring tasks. I plug in my earphones and listen to an audiobook. Not a business book, but one with lots of action to take my mind off the running. Not even a steamy romance would help you motivate yourself to exercise. Nope – it’s got to have lots of action! That keeps my legs pumping.

Or do you think exercise is too difficult?

The second reason Dr. Markman says we might be procrastinating is because we could dread dealing with complex tasks. Exercise does not have to be complex. In fact, exercise should be the  easiest thing in the world so that we will do it. If an exercise is too difficult – like a complex step pattern, for instance, practice it again so that you can do it without stumbling. Or find a different workout that’s not as complex. At a gym, for an in-person class, ask your instructor if she teaches a more basic class.

When you’re working out at home, try a modification for the complex exercise. If you’re not strong enough, you’ll get there. When choreography is hard, rewind and practice the sequence again. You’ll get there. If the music is good, and you like the instructor, you’ll motivate yourself to exercise. As I always say, “There’s always a modification.”

Or perhaps you don’t know where to start?

The third reason your motivation to exercise may be lacking is because you don’t know where to start, or you feel that it’s beyond you. Know this: there’s an exercise for everyone. If you can move any part of your body, you can exercise it. As a beginner, suffering from chronic conditions, or recovering from an injury, if you can’t be on your feet for an extended period, there are chair exercises. If you can’t run, then walk, as I said earlier. Do arm circles if you can raise your arms. 

So, you can move and walk and even run – but if you don’t know what to do, do what you feel like doing. Like to dance? Put some music on. If you want something more structured, take a half hour and search YouTube for “beginner strength exercises for seniors,” as an example. I do a combination of aerobics and strength, which mixes moves up nicely. Search for that if it sounds appealing. As you’re doing your search, note down the instructors and programs that look interesting. 

Then, make a date with yourself a few times a week and go exercise. Look forward to that date as a way to figure out how you want to work out for the next few weeks. Keep that date. And reassess. Did you enjoy the workout? Did you wish it was longer? Shorter? Harder? Did you like the instructor’s style? If you look forward to spending time with your favorite exercise instructor, or if you like the music used, it will be easier to motivate yourself to exercise.

Exercise helps depression

We’ve all experienced depressive episodes – perhaps too many in the last couple of years. It’s natural to feel sad or depressed when we hear about all the horrible things going on in the world, and some of these hit us harder than others. In fact, “according to the National Institutes of Health, 17.3 million adults in the U.S. have experienced a depressive episode in the last year.” Major depression is considered a mental disorder, but minor depression, like what we feel on occasion, can even affect how our bodies respond. But all the experts agree that exercise can help depression.

How depression can affect us

At first depression can affect our focus and memory, and can even interfere with our sleep. Depression can cause headaches. And if our depression continues untreated, it can interfere with our ability to fight off disease. 

Happy people don’t catch as many colds.

 A study by a Carnegie Mellon psychologist found that “people who are happy, lively, calm or exhibit other positive emotions are less likely to become ill when they are exposed to a cold virus than those who report few of these emotions.” And when these happy people did catch a cold, they complained of fewer symptoms.

How to fight off depression

I'm always happier after I exercise than before. Exercise helps depression.
I’m always happier after I exercise than before.

So, we see that it’s beneficial to be happy – I don’t like being sick, and if I can fight off illness, I’m all for it. Keeping in mind that those with severe depression should seek professional help for it, those of us who have mild depression can improve their mood while improving their mental health, according to Dr. Munther Barakat, a psychologist at Aurora Psychiatric Hospital. Number one on Dr. Barakat’s list of ways to improve your mood and your mindset is to get physical exercise. “Exercise is a natural treatment for depression, and in some cases, is as effective as anti-depressant medication.”

Feel good about exercising

When I’m feeling down, I keep my date with myself and exercise. Inevitably, I feel better afterward. It’s not just running that produces endorphins, it’s exercise in general. Sometimes I just put my favorite tunes on and dance! Exercise helps depression. So, go ahead – turn on that music and move!