Some of the results of exercise aren’t always pretty – sweat dripping down your face, an increased heart rate, flushed skin, fatigue. But none of that matters because your mood has improved!
Thanks to endorphins released during physical activity, many people experience a positive boost in mood and reduced feelings of depression and anxiety after exercising.
Mental Health Benefits of Exercise
“Exercise can be a powerful tool for people dealing with stress,” said Kenny Dunn, a personal wellness coach at Memorial Counseling Associates. “Typically, people who are under stress or are suffering from depression will use food as a coping mechanism. This leads to weight gain and an increased risk of health issues, further increasing depression and stress. By using exercise as a coping skill, people can reduce feelings of stress and depression.”
Because exercise can improve a person’s appearance, their confidence and self-esteem often increase as well. Cognitive functioning, or thought process, also can get better. This is beneficial for people who are feeling down or struggling with depression. When someone is suffering mentally, they are less likely to engage in physical and social activities. Instead they might turn to unhealthy coping skills such as binge eating, substance abuse and isolation to alleviate their symptoms.
“These coping skills tend to decrease a sense of self worth and put the individual at a higher risk of health issues,” Dunn said. “However, by increasing physical activity the person can work to reverse this effect, creating a better self image, sense of worth and more social interaction.” Read the rest of this entry »
Need a low-impact exercise to compliment your cardio and strength-building exercises?
Just say, “om.”
Yoga — a set of body movements intended to stretch parts of the body while also focusing on breath control —is a great way to enhance your workout routine, said Gabriel Stinson, MS, PES, a sports enhancement specialist with Memorial SportsCare.
“Moving through and holding the various positions of yoga focuses on improving strength, flexibility and cardiovascular function,” Stinson said. “It’s also a great stress reliever. It provides a great workout while refreshing the mind and body.” Read the rest of this entry »
The first time Gabe Stinson learned about a Tough Mudder race from a friend, he was intrigued. And once he participated in his first – he was hooked.
Whether it’s a Warrior Dash, Tough Mudder or Spartan Race, they’re gaining in popularity,” said Stinson, MS, a certified performance enhancement specialist with Memorial SportsCare.
Though more people are participating, these competitive events — which combine off-road running through fields or rough terrain and challenging obstacles — are not for everyone, Stinson cautioned. Training is very different from training for a traditional road race. Read the rest of this entry »
We use our cellphones for a lot more than making phone calls. Many of us have smartphones with apps to help us manage our schedules, check the weather, find show times for the latest movie and wake us up in the morning.
So why not use apps to help you better manage your diet?
We surveyed our registered dietitians at Memorial Medical Center. Here are some of the nutrition and fitness apps they recommended: Read the rest of this entry »
As Gabe Stinson, M.S., a certified performance enhancement specialist with Memorial’s SportsCare, found out, even when you help other people improve their fitness, it doesn’t guarantee that you’ve mastered a perfect running form.
“A friend of mine told me about a race series called Tough Mudder, and I was hooked. I signed up for the nearest race and started training. For the first month or so, I ran pain free,” Stinson said.
But then the problems began. “My right knee started to hurt with every run. I backed off my training and rested, which helped. But the pain came back, and I knew it was time to see an athletic trainer.
“In just one session, my trainer saw that my calves, especially my right one, were tight. This threw off my running form that led to my knee pain. The advice? Stretch before and after each run to maintain proper running form.”
Stories like Gabe’s are fairly common according to Amanda Wilson, PT, DPT, ATC, also of Memorial’s SportsCare. Read the rest of this entry »
September 23, 2012 | 9am
Congratulations! You’ve decided you want to cross the finish line at SportsCare Women’s Biathlon on Sept. 23 this year!
Now that you’ve decided to make the commitment, you may need some help figuring out where to start and what to do. Memorial SportsCare’s athletic trainers devised a training program to help beginners get into the right condition to be able to participate in the biathlon.
The biathlon consists of 12 miles of biking on gently rolling hills followed by a 3.1-mile run on a mostly flat course. At the end of the training program, you’ll be able to complete both – what an amazing achievement. Read the rest of this entry »
The three main components to any worthwhile fitness regimen are nutrition, strength conditioning and cardiovascular exercise. Can you achieve success in all three areas by going at it alone? Sure – but it’s more likely you’ll stick to a healthy diet and exercise routine if you first have the tools and tips necessary to build a solid foundation.
A 2010 study published in the journal Obesity found that people who participated in a structured group exercise program worked out for a longer period of time than those who didn’t. When half the battle to adopting a lasting workout routine is turning it into habit, longer workouts may mean the difference between adopting the habit or abandoning it for the couch. Structured exercise plans also keep you more accountable and motivated.
Memorial SportsCare’s new Healthy Lifestyles 360 (HL 360) program, which kicks off in June, offers participants the knowledge and motivation they need in a structured environment to ensure lasting success. HL 360 is a spinoff of SportsCare’s already existing Healthy Lifestyles fitness program, in which a certified SportsCare employee works with a person to meet their individual fitness goals over a period of 10 or 20 weeks. HL 360 adds in a nutritional component and opportunity to participate in both group and individual exercise. Read the rest of this entry »
With warm weather renewing interest in outdoor activities, many bike enthusiasts have grabbed life by the handle bars and returned to their favorite bike paths or road routes.
Bicycling is a great outdoor sport that builds muscle tone and strength and provides a solid cardiovascular workout. To maximize each cycling adventure and protect your safety, however, you should be sure your bike is in proper working order and you have the right gear on hand for a safe ride.
Liz Vermeersch, office assistant for Memorial SportsCare and an avid cycler for more than 20 years, shares some safety tips in the video below. Read the rest of this entry »
Exercise can help reduce the risk of certain cancers, lower blood pressure and risk of heart disease, slow down mental decline, boost your emotional well-being and energy level, fight obesity and much more.
So why NOT exercise? Excuses can be plentiful, but even if you have health concerns, you shouldn’t live a sedentary lifestyle.
“Healthy living is still an important goal, even if you have health concerns,” said John Gee, a physical therapist at Memorial SportsCare. “Exercise is an important goal for many medical conditions, from low back pain, sciatica, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, osteoarthritis or following a stroke. With all of these, exercise usually helps with pain management and strengthening that helps lead to continued independence.” Read the rest of this entry »
More people are trying out pool walking as a way to incorporate exercise into their daily routine. Walking in a pool is easier on the joints, explains Grace Sorrentino, RN, cardiac rehab nurse with Memorial Heart and Vascular Services.
Because of the buoyancy of the water, “you’re only supporting 50 percent of your body weight, which is really important for people who have some limitations,” she says, including people with arthritis or fibromyalgia or who are overweight. “If you’re not able to use machines to exercise, you should consider water walking for your exercise,” Sorrentino says. Read the rest of this entry »