Jogging your way to joy

84818_optIt’s no secret that the beautiful Canadian summer weather helps kick start our physical activity. While we all know moving our bodies is good for our health, there is a scientific link between moving our bodies and happiness.

“Moving regularly and eating well has been shown to help with depression, anxiety and other mood disorders,” said Kathleen Trotter, a Canadian fitness and nutrition expert. “I always tell my clients that the worse their mood the more important the workout because gets them into a positive headspace.

Activity also positively affects the cardiovascular, lymphatic and digestive system as well as metabolism. It is associated with decreased risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke and diabetes, and affects how our bodies metabolize glucose.

According to Trotter, proper nutrition also ‎plays an integral role in managing symptoms of depression, anxiety and other mood disorders. Blood sugar imbalances, allergies, and deficiencies in vitamins, minerals, essential fats and amino acids have all been linked to low mood. To run properly, our body needs vitamins and minerals to make neurotransmitters and hormones and stabilize our blood sugar. Neurotransmitters and hormones help our body maintain balance and health which in turn effects our mood.

Vitamins like vitamin B, specifically B6, and folic acid help produce serotonin efficiently.  Therefore a diet high in B vitamins and folic acid, found in beans, nuts and vegetables, is usually advised to help stabilize mood.

“When I’m on the go I reach for a burrito because it packs the protein, veggies and beans,” said Trotter, adding that restaurants like Quesada Burritos & Tacos offer healthy options that are less than 500 calories.

Often times, people get caught up in the amount of time they should be working out. However, Trotter said this is a trap.

“Don’t question if what you are doing is enough,” she added. “Any amount of movement – whether it lasts for twenty minutes or two minutes – will positively affect your health.”

For more information about healthy eating, visit

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