Are you—or is someone in your life— anxious or depressed? Did you know that exercise can help? Scientific under- standing of mental health disorders is increasing—and exercise is emerging as a potent healing tool.
Shirley Archer, JD, MA, IDEA’s 2008 Fitness Instructor of the Year and author of Pilates Fusion: Well-Being for Body, Mind and Spirit, describes how exercise impacts mood and what you can do to improve mental health.
Science Says: Exercise Benefits Mental Health
It should be easy: A person works a full day, drops into a vigorous boot camp after work, and then falls into bed exhausted, but satisfied. She’s asleep in minutes, right? That would be nice, but for many people, high-intensity evening classes actually delay the onset of sleep. Researchers think this is because workouts ramp up heart rate so much that the body has trouble recovering before bedtime (Oda & Shirakawa 2014).
You wake up to the sound of an annoying alarm, you’re dead tired, and you just plain feel out of sorts. Ugh! How do you go out into the world—or even get out of bed!—when you are feeling so blah? April Durrett, IDEA contributing editor, and health, fitness and lifestyle writer shares mindful strategies that can help you shake off the blues.
Use Mind-Body Methods
What can you do if you wake up on the wrong side of the bed? Try these strategies.
Have you experienced back pain at one time or another? Have you been told to strengthen your abdominal muscles to fix a back problem? While traditional crunches strengthen the outer layers of the abdominal musculature, they bypass the deep support structures of your back. This can place the lumbar spine in too much flexion and may even worsen your back pain, depending on what your original physical problem was. By training the deep stabilizers of the lumbar spine, pain can be alleviated and you’ll be able to return to everyday activities sooner.
Today, 10 million Americans—more than twice as many as a decade ago—practice some form of meditation, according to TIME magazine. And with contemporary medical experts claiming that regular practice of this ancient activity improves well-being and health, the trend may well continue.
Would meditation help you? Discover what meditation is, the benefits of...
Although some old fitness fictions, such as “no pain, no gain” and “spot reducing” are fading fast, plenty of popular exercise misconceptions still exist. Here are some of the most common myths as well as the not-so-common facts based on current exercise research.
1. You Will Burn More Fat If You Exercise Longer at a Lower Intensity. The most important focus in exer...
Attention-grabbing headers on health, fitness and nutrition news stories don't always tell the whole story. Learn how to sift through the news to find the true meaning of the research by using the points below to assess what you're reading.
Consider the source. Is the publication generally regarded as reputable? Does it derive any portion of its income from the promotion or advertisement of products or substances similar to those tested in the study?
Millions of Americans ring in the New Year with lofty intentions to lose weight and exercise more, so why is it that by March, most New Year’s resolutions have fizzled like stale champagne? Typically it’s because people start out with unrealistic goals, misjudging the difficulty of breaking deeply ingrained habits. Impractical goals lead to disappointments that undermine the willpower people need to keep their New Year’s resolutions.newsletter_teaser: Millions of Americans ring in the New Year with lofty intentions to lose weight and exercise more, so why is it that by March, most New Year’s resolutions have fizzled like stale champagne? Typically it’s because people start out with unrealistic goals, misjudging the difficulty of breaking deeply ingrained habits.
The holiday season is a time of celebration and abundance. However, the holidays also teem with tasty temptations and can present challenges if you are trying to maintain healthy habits. Here are some practical ideas for enjoying your favorite holiday foods without packing on the pounds, from Jennie McCary, MS, RD, LD, the wellness coordinator for Albuquerque public schools and cha...
It’s common to take on a client who travels for work on a regular basis. But travel plans can create hiccups in the training schedule, sometimes making it harder to help a client achieve his goals. That doesn’t have to be the case.