Archives for Exercise
A few days ago, while I was riding a stationary bike at the gym, an older gentleman we'll call Greg walked up to me and said, "You know you can lose a lot more calories on the elliptical or treadmill, right?" Lose a lot more calories? I thought. I’m not trying to lose calories. I’m trying to gain leg strength and endurance... I just smiled and thanked him, and told him I was winding down after a pretty intense weightlifting session (which was true, too). After the exchange, I started thinking. So many people assume we’re at the gym to lose weight (especially us girls -- sorry y'all, but you know it’s true). Sure, I wanted to drop a few pounds when I joined, but I've since learned there's so much more to gain at the gym -- and I'm not just talking about muscles and strength. However, I realized Greg had an unintentional point: There are things to lose at the gym -- they just go way beyond weight.
As many of you know, I joined a gym earlier this year, and one of the perks I listed for joining my particular gym was the manager’s promise to personally assist me whenever I asked. Well, because my beau is a bit of a workout junkie and set up a few fairly awesome routines for me, I never had any questions. Until a few weeks ago.
As a fitness writer and coach who has been training consistently for over a decade, I can confidently say that I don’t like exercising, and that’s okay. -- Dick Talens Bet you that's not a statement you'd ever expect to hear from a fitness writer and coach, but that's exactly the message Dick Talens sends in his latest Lifehacker piece, "You Might Never Love Exercise (But Do It Anyway)." Well, that and the "do it anyway" part, of course.
Probably most of us are familiar with “workout selfies,” but I doubt any of us have seen many that were taken to eradicate the stigma of mental health rather than, you know, show off a nice booty.
Thanks to actress and author Lena Dunham, now...
Thanks to actress and author Lena Dunham, now...
As some of you know, I started working out at a gym in January. For nearly four months (and with the exception of a few setbacks), I've diligently gone to the gym every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I’m proud of myself. I really am. Yet, last week I wasn't really feeling it. My heart wasn't in it. My mind was elsewhere. I was so “not feeling it” that one of my new gym buddies noticed and asked what was up.
Happy Friday, ladies! If you get out and about today, you might see a sea of red -- and it's not just that everyone decided to make a bold fashion choice! Nope, today is the annual National Wear Red Day 2015, hosted by the American Heart Association (AMA) Go Red for Women campaign. According to the AMA: Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women, causing 1 in 3 deaths each year. That’s approximately one woman every minute! Fortunately, there are many ways we can combat heart disease -- starting TODAY -- even if you're new to the game!
How many of you eat when you’re stressed, anxious, panicky, or depressed? Now, how many of you exercise when you’re experiencing those same feelings? I didn’t conduct any formal poll, but I’m willing to bet more of you raised your hands for the first question than the second. (After all, according to the CDC as of 2010, the percent of Americans 20 years old and older who are overweight, including obese, is 69.2%.) Basically, more than half of American adults are overweight or outright obese. Geesus Ayche.
Earlier this week, Psych Central asked Facebook readers about their favorite workouts, and whether they felt working out benefited their mental health. (Well, I mean, of course it does.) The response was extremely positive (you guys are AWESOME!). People talked about yoga, aerobics, running -- even just getting in a walk around the track when times got busy. I was like a proud momma. One theme I noticed, though, was that some of you talked about feeling “guilty” when you “fell off the wagon.” Listen, I’m here to tell you, sometimes you’re going to fall off the wagon.
Exercise is about more than just getting into those skinny jeans. Actually, even though our country's obesity rate is mind blowing, EXERCISE IS ABOUT WAY MORE THAN JUST LOSING WEIGHT. Getting physical works wonders for your mental health, and here are five reasons you might consider creating a workout regime for your mental health.
1. Alleviate Mental Illness SymptomsYay, Captain Obvious! Still, I couldn’t create this list without including the fact that exercise helps alleviate symptoms like those associated with depression and anxiety. I’m sure you already know this, BUT if you want to read the science behind it, check out Exercise for Stress and Anxiety (Anxiety and Depression Association of America) and Exercise for the Treatment of Depression and Anxiety (National Institute of Health).
You might remember, I've been dealing with a lot of anger since my father's death. I know it's part of the five stages, but that doesn't make it any easier. What has made it easier is working it out physically. Before you begin, understand two things: Understand that you're angry. You might know exactly why you're angry (for example, my father's death), or you might have no clue. Whatever the case, at least recognize your anger; otherwise, you could end up causing more harm (physical and mental) than good. We often use physical activity as a distraction. This isn't necessarily a bad thing (often, it's a GOOD thing), but if you're feeling especially angry, distraction could lead to injury. Worried about this? Consider taking a buddy or working with a personal trainer.