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Exercise your way to a healthy body AND MIND

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Presented as a service to our local communities from Bristol Total Fitness personal trainer Tammy Bettencourt,

We’ve all heard (like a thousand times) that exercise is good for your body. What you may not know, is that exercise is just as great for your brain. Exercise can help improve your sleep, boost your mood, and help alleviate symptoms of depression, stress and anxiety.

Mental health issues, including their contributors like lack of sleep and stress, have been brought to the forefront of our culture due to a variety of reasons  (don’t worry I won’t bore you with the list) and know that there are things you can do starting today.

Exercise and Sleep

Having trouble falling asleep or getting good nigh restt? Exercise can help

  • According to Walden University:  “Physical activity increases body temperature, which can have calming effects on the mind, leading to less sheep counting and more shuteye.”
  • Exercise also helps regulate your circadian rhythm, your body’s built-in alarm clock that controls when you feel tired and when you feel alert (sleep experts recommend not exercising close to bedtime.).

Exercise and Depression

According to a study done by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that running for 15 minutes a day or walking for an hour relieved depression symptoms, reduced the risk of major depression and more.

Exercise fights depression by:

  • Promoting neural growth, reduced inflammation, new activity patterns (promote a sense of calm and well-being)
  • Releasing endorphins (chemicals in your brain) that essentially make you feel happy and some even say euphoric (you’ve heard of runner’s high).
  • Acting as distraction – it gives your brain a chance to break out of negative thoughts that can feed depression.

Exercise and Stress, Anxiety & Mood

According to John J. Ratey MD, associate clinical professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, “Exercise is a natural and effective anti-anxiety treatment…Lacing up your sneakers and getting out and moving may be the single best nonmedical solution we have for preventing and treating anxiety. “

Reported by the ADAA, psychologists studying how exercise relieves anxiety and depression suggest that a 10-minute walk may be just as good as a 45-minute workout. Some studies show that exercise can work quickly to elevate depressed mood in many people.

Remember, think small and you’ll be on your way to exercising your way to both a healthy body and mind.

They say health is wealth and at Bristol Total Fitness we agree. With our strong values about healthy living, we want everyone to have an opportunity to be part of our community and live their best life at any age.

Get a Free Pass to Try Out Bristol Total Fitness:

Visit  www.totalfitnessclubs.com/free-membership-pass/

Full use of club facilities. Unlimited group exercise classes: Offer is for local residents only.

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Scott Pickering

Scott Pickering has been on the East Bay Newspapers team for more than two decades, since starting as a reporter for the Sakonnet Times. He's been editor of most of the papers, was Managing Editor of all the papers for many years, and became General Manager in 2012. Today he can be found posting to EastBayRI.com, steering news coverage, writing editorials, talking to readers, working with the sales team, collaborating on design, or helping do whatever it takes to get the papers out the door. Reach him at spickering@eastbaynewspapers.com.