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
Welcome to 2006! The hustle and bustle of the holiday season is over, and it’s time to refocus your energy on your fitness career and personal goals.
For many, the new year brings promise and opportunity, but you may feel irritable and angry instead. The period after New Year’s Day is an unpleasant time for many people. The weeks leading up to the holidays are often fill...
The trend toward environmentally friendly—or “green”—activities is impacting exercise. The term green exercise refers to physical activities that give participants the benefits not only of exercise but also of direct exposure to nature. A growing body of research shows that interacting with nature can positively impact our health and well-being; relieve stress; an...
Elevated stress is a risk factor for cancer, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease (Block et al. 2009). How stress influences eating behaviors and leads to obesity is a key topic of interest to researchers and exercise professionals.
Did you know that researchers are keenly interested in how stress influences eating behaviors and leads to obesity? In fact, a substantial amount of scientific research has been committed to unraveling this complex question. What does it say, and how can it help you stay healthy?
Qigong is another mind-body practice that may help people to manage stress, according to a research review of seven randomized, controlled trials available in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine (2014; doi: 10.1186/1472-6882-14-8). Researchers from the University of Hong Kong conducted the review to evaluate qigong’s ability to reduce stress and anxiety among healthy adults.
As fitness pros, we know that a great workout can be just what a person needs to relieve stress. Unfortunately, the 2013 Stress in America™ survey showed that in the month leading up to the study, as many as 39% of Americans skipped exercise or physical activity when they were feeling stressed. The good news is that 53% of adults who do exercise say they feel good about themselves after exercising, 35% say it puts them in a good mood, and 32% say they feel less stressed.
Mind-body teaching professionals should consider reaching out to more teens, since mindful practices often effectively reduce stress. In 2013, the Stress in AmericaTM survey included teens for the first time (n = 1,018) and found that stress among this age group is rising, with negative consequences for both schoolwork and home life. American teens—from as young as 13 years old— reported unhealthy levels of stress, lack of certainty regarding stress management techniques, and rising levels of stress symptoms that adversely impact health.
Mind-body professionals and other fitness pros may want to offer beneficial stress reduction services to clients—especially those who are most driven to succeed. Among both men and women, people with a type A personality—characteristic of highly competitive and achievement-oriented individuals—may have a higher risk of stroke than their more relaxed and easy-going peers, according to a study in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry (2012; doi: 10.1136/jnnp-2012-302420).