Health Hub: move for more than muscle | Characteristics


The last year in particular has been unprecedented in our lives, and just when we think we can restore the “norm” we are struck again. I don’t mean to rewrite an article on a topic that has been sufficiently covered but to offer ammunition to stimulate your mind in the name of getting active. Most of the research gathered for this article focuses on diagnosed mental health issues, but many have certainly experienced similar feelings over the past year without needing a doctor’s stamp of approval.

2020 has taken a toll on the mental health of Americans. A survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that 40% of respondents reported a negative mental or behavioral state in the month of June alone. Self-recognized anxiety and depression were the most frequently reported. A survey by the American Psychological Association found that parents and people of color were particularly affected. An overwhelming study from Britain reported that people with low levels of aerobic and muscle fitness have a 98% higher risk of depression and a 60% higher risk of anxiety than those with a higher level of fitness. Student. Finally, a study done specifically on coronavirus stress showed that those who exercised and had less computer time had better results against the negative mental effects of the pandemic.

Why is exercise the best medicine? Exercise provides an instant gratification response chemically in the body. Exercise triggers the release of endorphins which gives us a feeling of joy and manages the stress hormone cortisol. When the body is in a state of stress, the body reacts instantly by creating a state of fight or flight. Heart rate and respiratory rate increase, the stress hormone cortisol is released. It’s a great protection mechanism if you’re chased by a wolf at night. But if the state of stress persists for long periods of time, the cumulative effect wreaks havoc, making us more vulnerable to disease and weakening the immune system. Exercise improves psychological health by improving physical condition, increasing tolerance to emotional stress, increasing self-esteem by learning new skills or acquiring new skills, deflecting negative thoughts and promoting self-esteem. engagement rather than avoidance.

In the CDC study, all types of exercise were found to be associated with fewer mental health burdens. Usually what you like is a good place to start, but the strongest connections were with popular sports like cycling, aerobics / gym and mindfulness exercises, yoga, Pilates, tai. -chi. Exercise sessions lasting 30 to 60 minutes have been found to be most beneficial, 3 to 5 times per week. Vigorous exercise has given better results than light to moderate exercise.

Find places where you can incorporate even short periods of exercise or movement into your daily life. 10-minute bursts of activity, at least 3 times a day, movement and stretching breaks every 30 minutes, and doing deep breathing exercises are a good place to start. Participants reported strength training at least twice a week to alleviate depressive symptoms. For 15-30 year olds, 10 minutes of outdoor activity is beneficial. Mindfulness activities, such as tai chi, a moving meditation, have been associated with increasing psychological well-being and improving quality of life.

While just one exercise can reduce stress levels, improving fitness by engaging in a developed and organized program will have positive long-term effects. Commit to moving your body in one form or another every day.

Robin Gaudette is the Aquatic Wellness Coordinator at Redmond Area Park and Recreation District. Contact her at [email protected]


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