FACT: Exercise Strengthens Your Mental Health, Too

Exercise are good for our Mental Health too

There is more to exercise than increasing muscle size and improving aerobic capacity. It can also be good for your mental health. Here’s how exercise helps you.

There is more to exercise than increasing muscle size and improving aerobic capacity. Although regular exercise improves your physique and physical health, it can also do wonders for your sense of well-being. People who exercise regularly sleep better at night, feel more energetic throughout the day and have a more positive outlook about their lives and themselves. Exercises are also powerful tools for people struggling with their mental health.

Anyone can benefit mentally from regular exercise – whether you’re a fitness trailer earning CEC points in Australia or a busy professional in Arizona who wants to make healthier decisions (which includes exercising). The best part is that you don’t have to be a fitness fanatic to reap the benefits for your mental health.

The Psychological Benefits of Exercise

Most people know the physical benefits of exercise: increased energy, reduced risk of diseases, lower blood pressure and weight control. But what about the mental benefits of regular physical activity?

From keeping your memory sharp to easing symptoms of depression, there’s no shortage of psychological benefits. Consider the following mental health perks of getting up and working your body.

Reduced Stress Levels

Stress is one of the common happiness blockers for many people. Instead of letting stress eat you up, work your stress out!

Increasing your heart rate reverses the harmful effect of stress on your brain. Exercise stimulates the production of norepinephrine, a neurohormone that improves your mood and thinking, both of which are often clouded by stress. Exercise also pushes the body’s sympathetic and central nervous systems to communicate with each other, improving your ability to respond to stress.

Help for Anxiety and Depression

Exercise can decrease the symptoms of both anxiety and depression. It kicks up your body’s endorphin levels, aka the “happy hormone” chemical produced by your spinal cord and brain. This feel-good chemical produces feelings of euphoria and happiness.

Even if you do a few moderate exercises throughout the week, you can improve your symptoms of anxiety and depression. This is why some doctors incorporate an exercise regimen into their patients’ health plans.

Better Sleep

Can’t sleep at night? Exercise can give you a good sleep.

Physical activity increases the body’s temperature, which calms the mind, reducing the tossing and turning and leading to better sleep. Exercise also improves your body’s built-in alarm clock, aka the circadian rhythm. This rhythm control when you feel awake and when you feel tired. So, exercise and bid your stress goodnight!

Although exercise can help you sleep better, it’s best not to work out when you’re about to sleep. Exercising too late could disrupt your sleep patterns.

More Energy

Exercise improves your blood flow. Increased blood flow carries more nutrients and oxygen to your muscles, which makes you feel more alert and energized. When you sleep better and exercise regularly, your body gains more energy.

Brain Boost

From strengthening your memory to building your cognitive skills, exercise improves your brainpower. Studies indicate that physical activity stimulates neurogenesis, a process that involves the creation of new brain cells, which improves your brain’s overall performance.

Exercise also prevents memory loss and cognitive decline by working out your hippocampus, aka the part of the brain that is responsible for learning and memory. Physical activity can also boost your mental energy and creativity. So, if you need inspiration for your work or hobby, why not work out, jog or take a walk?

Develop and Strengthen Interpersonal Relationships

When people start exercising with a partner or a friend, they spend quality time with this person and keep other motivated. Also, by gaining confidence from regularly exercising, you may seek out other individuals with the same interests. As a result, you’ll develop and strengthen interpersonal relationships with these people – which is a plus for your mental health.

Belonging to a community and having someone to talk to eases the burden of anxiety and depression. As the old saying goes, “No man is an island” and exercise reminds you of that fact.

Improved Self-Confidence and Self-Esteem

Regular exercise helps you shed weight and achieve the figure you’ve always wanted. These physical achievements do wonders for your self-esteem. You feel better when you know that you’re caring for your body, as well as rejoice at the fact that you’re at your healthiest.

How Much Exercise Do You Need?

At least 30 minutes of moderate to intense physical activity on most (if not all) days of the week is good for your body and mind. While you exercise, practice mindfulness to reduce your stress levels and keep your head in a good space.

Exercise isn’t just good for the body; it’s good for the mind, too. So improve your well-being by maintaining a regular routine.

The Negative Impacts of Over-Exercising on Your Mind and Body

Portrait of confident woman exercising in crossfit gym

Too much of a good thing can be bad for you. Over-exercising can lead to physical injuries and even mental distress. Learn about these distressing effects.

Usually, health experts tell you that you need more exercise. It could be because your cholesterol or weight isn’t in healthy levels anymore. Or it could be because your sedentary lifestyle is making you more sluggish. But regular exercise is one thing, but it can turn to over-exercising or overtraining.

Over-exercising is defined as obsessing over physical activities despite physical harm or wanting to stop. It can be caused by several things such as exercise addiction or because you’re insecure about your body image. It can have a profoundly negative impact on your well-being.

The Impacts of Over Exercising

Over-exercising or overtraining can have a profound effect on your body, some of which can be very hard to manage. Regular exercise injuries such as pulled muscles and similar conditions can be occasionally helped by treatments such as the services of a reliable chiropractoror a visit to a hospital. However, over-exercising’s impact can cause a domino effect that exacerbates not only any pre-existing conditions but also the conditions caused by your overexercising. These negative impacts on your mind and body include the following:

  • Poor performance

One of the earliest signs that you’re overtaxing your body through exercising is when you start performing poorly. That can be because of a variety of reasons. Your muscles may be too sore for you to do as many repetitions as you like, or maybe you’re not feeling as mentally motivated. You’ll most likely notice a decrease in your performance levels in endurance-based training focusing on your cardiovascular system.

  • Fatigue

Over-exercising won’t just sap your physical strength; it can also attack your mental endurance. When you exercise too much, you but an immense burden on your body and mind. Your body may not feel up to par and feel more sluggish after prolonged exercise rather than energize you. Your mind may also feel slower, which can affect your reaction times and performance. That can lead to you exercising even more for an energy boost and jeopardizing your health.

  • Heightened cardiovascular stress

Although an appropriate amount of exercise can be great for your cardiovascular health, putting too much stress on your heart for prolonged periods is going to impact your well-being negatively. The more often you over-exercise, the more stress your heart is put under. That can elevate your resting heart rate instead of decreasing it, which is the same thing obesity and other health problems do that exercise is supposed to prevent.

  • Chronic injury

One of the worst effects of over-exercising is that you run the risk of injuring yourself. In a single year alone, almost 460,000 people in the United States were injured while they were exercising or utilizing exercise equipment. The more you exercise, the more chances that you get into a serious accident. Not to mention that over-exercising puts immense strain on your muscular and skeletal systems, which can lead to a serious and lingering injury.

  • Fat retention

Regular exercise is vital in weight loss, but overtaxing your body can cause the opposite effect instead. Fat retention is a symptom of the later stages of over-exercise. Over-exercising can cause a dramatic increase in your body’s stress levels. That, in turn, causes your body to release more stress hormones like cortisol. This hormone can decrease the release of steroid-like substances that help your body build muscles. It’s also responsible for storing adipose tissue in your body, which can lead to weight gain. However, the weight gain caused by the increased cortisol levels may cause you to exercise even more, which won’t help with your health.

  • Appetite change

Your body will try to resist your over-exercising efforts, and one way it will do so is by slowing down your metabolism. That means that your body will crave less food, leading to diminished appetite. Although this seems like the right way for you to lose weight, this will lead to weight gain. Because of the increased cortisol levels in your body, causing fat retention, your body won’t burn through what food you do consume.

  • Affected recovery period

Your body needs time to recuperate between training sessions. Your muscles need time to rebuild, and your joints need a break to avoid developing aches. With regular exercise, your recovery period can be anything between a day or two. However, when you over-exercise, your body will need more and more time to get back to speed. The muscle soreness can take days to go away, and your joints may continue aching.

Exercise is one of the best things you can do for your body, but like everything else, too much of it isn’t right for you. No matter what the cause for your overtraining, whether its professional pressure or body image problems, seek a healthier alternative to help protect your body from the ravages of over-exercising.

Work Out in Style: Improving Your Workouts with Better Outfits

Research says that wearing the right clothes while working out can improve your physical fitness. Discover how to upgrade your outfits and accessories.

The ongoing health crisis has severely limited people’s work out options. Yoga studios and gyms are either operating at reduced capacities, making it more challenging to schedule a session, or closed entirely. Thankfully, you can keep fit at home through video tutorials or video conferencing sessions with your coaches.

Since you’re working out at home, you may be tempted to dress down, especially if you’re just exercising alone. But did you know that wearing the appropriate clothes can have a noticeable effect on your performance? Discover the magic of enclothed cognition and how to use it to improve your outfits and fitness.

What Is Enclothed Cognition?

Researchers found out that wearing the right clothes for the activity has a measurable effect on your psychology. They call this “enclothed cognition,” and there are two factors that make it happen: the symbolic meaning of your outfits and the experience of wearing them.

You automatically attach meaning to the clothes based on the activities you do while wearing them. For example, a specific pair of gym shorts and a tee might be your exercise outfit, while a pair of comfortable cotton pants and top are your sleeping clothes. Naturally, you will feel more empowered and energized while wearing clothes you associate with exercising.

Of course, wearing these clothes will put you in the mood for their designated activities much faster. Therefore, if you want to improve your physical fitness, you need to upgrade your exercise outfits, mixing their functionality with their psychological effect.

Accessorize Properly

Never underestimate the power of accessories. Not only can these objects reinforce the symbolic power of your workout outfits, but they also offer increased functionality. The right accessories help you feel more comfortable in your outfit while also reflecting your personality. A custom mouth guard combines its protective power with fun, personalized designs. A yoga mat in your favorite color makes you feel more at ease while doing poses. And a customized exercise aid can help you monitor your heart rate and act as a pedometer while also serving as a watch or GPS.

Functionality First

Always prioritize functionality over appearance when choosing workout clothes. Remember that no matter how attractive an outfit or accessory, they need to provide actual support and comfort while you’re working out. A delightful pair of yoga pants may be the perfect color, but the wrong size for you. Although they will look attractive to you, their poor fit will only hinder you. You should also pay attention to the material of your outfits and not just their appearance. Breathable fabrics help keep you cool, and sweat-wickingclothing prevents you from getting drenched. Find outfits made of these materials that are also attractive rather than just focusing on what they look like.

Color Coordinate

Finally, don’t forget the power of colors. The correlation between colors and your mood has been established for decades. Not to mention specific colors can make you appear more appealing. For example, black is a great-looking color while being functional. First, it has a slimming effect on your appearance, which will boost your confidence. Second, black hides stains well. Bright colors can also give you more energy, so choose clothing that is red, blue, or yellow for livelier feel.

Just because you’re working out at home doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dress for the occasion. By wearing the right clothes, you make it easier for you to achieve your fitness goals.

Speeding Up the Healing Process After a Tooth Extraction

Did you just get an operation for your teeth? Speeding up the process of healing means resting and more. Learn more about the aftercare here.

Healing process

Almost everyone will always be dreading of that day where they’ll have their wisdom tooth pulled out. While most of the pop culture will peddle trips to the dentist and wisdom tooth removals as painful while being an intricate process, in reality, you won’t feel any type of pain.

In most cases, after most people have finished their dental surgery, it’s common for them to resume their daily tasks and work. In reality, it is recommended that resting should be a top priority. Your mouth is one of the most sensitive parts of your body, with thousands of nerve endings that can taste, and often, feel pain, so it’s no surprise that having a painful ‘wound’ on your mouth could distract you from your day.

No worries, the wisdom tooth is an evolutionary relic that doesn’t have a purpose anymore, so removing it shouldn’t cause you any problems. However, right after surgery, you should be resting and focusing more on the healing process. Your mouth is a warm, damp area where millions of bacteria can easily thrive on; it only takes one wrong decision to risk infection.

Recovery Timeline

Just to set your expectations, right after your surgery, you should expect swelling, bruises, and long periods of pain in your mouth area. If you’re a healthy individual, you won’t have to worry too much about the pain the sudden swellings since it will subside as days go by.

Even though we can wait out the healing process, one thing that we have to be mindful of is our daily activities, which might cause complications in healing. There are still some necessities that we have to attend to, one of which is eating.

Don’t worry. While you’re in the process of recovering, you can still go through with your daily tasks. As long as you’re not exposing yourself to rigorous physical activities, smoking, drinking through a straw, and spitting, you won’t have any problem with the healing process.

Here’s a timeline of how long your affected tooth will take to recover and what are the necessary steps that you have to take after your tooth extraction:

  • In 24 hours, blood clotting will start to take effect. While it might seem like you can start eating whatever you like, just remember that the healing process is still ongoing. Alcohol is a big no-no since this will thin out your blood, which can cause bleeding.
  • After two to three days, your swellings will start to recede, and being able to chew won’t be a problem anymore.
  • After a week, visit your periodontist to remove the surgical stitches.
  • At ten days right after your surgery, your jaw will already have the healed to the point that pain should be minimal.
  • Lastly, after two weeks, your remaining small bruises should subside.

Even though we have set a timeline, this will only serve as a guide and shouldn’t be strictly followed, as the healing process will always be different for everyone. Some practices, such as chewing, can damage areas that are clotting, and other factors can affect the healing process. In some cases, pre-existing conditions should also be taken into account. If you are sure about where you are in these five stages of healing, you can always consult your dentist and get the necessary pain relievers if needed.

Speeding Up The Process

Since blood clothing will form a solid barrier between the soft flesh of the damaged area and any type of physical trauma, most people would pass this as a sign that they can eat anything. Still, it is highly recommended not to dislodge this clotting within the same day. Blood clotting is there for a reason, and it’s to heal the wound.

However, it’s still imperative to refrain from:

  • Rinsing the affected area since water can soften the blood clotting process
  • Sucking on a straw since it creates unnecessary pressure.
  • Drinking of alcoholic beverages and smoking

Ultimately, you don’t have to do much other than wait for your mouth to heal. Slowly but surely, the affected area will improve, and you can go back to doing your daily activities.

While the healing process might take a while, it’s important to remember that damaging the delicate linings of the affected area can be a catalyst for more treatment. Right after your dental operation, just kick back and relax. You deserve it.

You don’t need to be too conscious about your tooth’s healing process – it will heal in due time. If you feel like there’s something ‘off’ on how your affected tooth feels, don’t hesitate to contact your periodontist.

Why Some Vehicular Mishap Victims Prefer Chiropractic Care

Auto accident injuries can result in pain and loss of movement. To avoid pharmaceutical and surgical solutions, some people choose chiropractic care.

Spine injury may need deep care.

Victims of vehicular accidents often go to chiropractors for rehabilitation and pain management, and for a good reason: chiropractic care has been a proven augment to physical therapy and pharmaceutical remedies.

For most victims of minor to moderate car mishaps, neck and back pain are the most common issues they encounter, not to mention chronic pain up and down their spinal areas. Of course, medical care is essential in providing relief for these issues. For many people, going to a chiropractor not only helps them relieve their pain further, but it also helps those who are unwilling (for whatever reason) to take pharmaceutical medication for pain.

Going to a chiropractor might also be cheaper in the long run, especially since some doctors might recommend expensive surgeries that require even more costly after-surgery care for some injuries, which might be fixed by constant chiropractic care instead.

Several studies suggest chiropractic care as being an effective treatment for automobile injuries, but we asked a few car accident victims why they visited a reliable chiropractor instead.

Chiropractic Care Reduces Pain Throughout the Body

Pain need reliable treatment

With car accidents, even minor injuries can result in chronic pain that can be excruciating at worst and consistently bothersome at best. However, studies show that chiropractic care is effective at reducing pain, whether it’s in your spinal area or your extremities.

That is because chiropractors encourage patients to move their bodies in such a way that it doesn’t exacerbate the injury while helping the body to release natural pain-relieving hormones. It is the ideal treatment for people who are hesitant to take pain medication, such as recovering addicts or people with medication allergies.

Chiropractic Care Can Reduce Inflammation

Inflammation occurs when a muscle or ligament experiences micro-tears that cause the entire area to swell up and induce severe pain in people. Through chiropractic care, however, patients have observed a significant loss in swelling in their injuries after going through just a couple of chiropractic sessions.

Chiropractors can do this by physically manipulating people’s joints, muscles, and the spinal area in such a way that the body releases a specific hormone called IL-6, a naturally-occurring chemical in the human body that acts as an all-natural anti-inflammatory myokine.

Chiropractic Care Works

Many in the medical profession view the world of chiropractic care with a skeptical eye. Some even go so far as to warn against it. However, many scientists are starting to see how effective chiropractic care is in the treatment of various injuries, and it’s backed up by scholarly articles and scientific papers that show that chiropractic care works.

Not only does it work, but in some cases, it might also be better. It is gentler, doesn’t involve invasive surgery, and encourages patients to be up and active. By staying active and moving specific muscles and joints in a particular way, chiropractic patients are continually training their body to heal while staying active and healthy.

Of course, chiropractic care should not be seen as a complete substitute for medical care in emergencies. Still, it is an extremely effective treatment for chronic issues and after-care therapy.

Three Things You Need to Know about Modern Medicine Versus Traditional Practices

Technology has put information about every possible topic at our fingertips, and that includes medical advice. Even if you don’t have a medical degree, a quick online search can yield dozens of websites, blogs, and informative videos on what might be causing symptoms and what actions to take. Unfortunately, not all of this advice is sound, and without years of formal study, it can be hard to distinguish fact from fiction.

Modern Medicine

When an individual’s health is at stake, most people will consult their doctor. However, in today’s information-driven world, an increasing number of patients have come to learn about traditional medical practices. Even without ample scientific evidence, these forms of alternative treatment are on the rise. What separates the two systems, why are they treated differently, and should we choose one over the other?

Traditional Medicine

Scientific methods lead to advances

This probably won’t come as a surprise to you, but the modern medical system works due to the rigors of the scientific method. Evidence-based studies are conducted and subject to peer review so that results can be replicated anywhere; if several studies and trials conclude that a drug works in a particular treatment, it’s not a fluke. Scientific progress also brings advances in technology across the board; the closer you are to innovation centers, the more you get to witness the difference.

In a tech capital like Redwood City, an orthodontist will have cutting-edge equipment and offer advanced procedures, for instance. The advent of Western medicine across the world has led to dramatic gains in life expectancy and reduction in child and maternal mortality. There is a clear gap in statistical results between countries that have adopted these advances and those which, for various reasons, have yet to do so.

Traditional practices on the rise

Despite its undeniable benefits, modern medicine also has its shortcomings. Clinical trials may take time to be validated sufficiently, causing delays in much-needed treatment hitting the market. A drug may be tested rigorously for its effectiveness, and subjects may not show any adverse reaction during the test period, but only later would some people start to learn about long-term side effects.

Even though you could say that people who become disillusioned with modern medicine are in the minority, there’s no question that their search for alternative solutions has brought traditional practices into the mainstream. Herbal remedies and supplements such as ginkgo biloba and ginseng are widely available; many establishments offer conventional treatment methods such as acupuncture or chiropractic care. The practice of yoga, in particular, has been embraced as a way of improving overall well-being instead of treating a specific disease.

Combining both approaches

Traditional practices have been handed down through generations; many have survived over centuries. They work through experience, but aren’t tested scientifically; some people may benefit, others may not. Western medicine can be slow to progress but has achieved incredible results as a system. Both approaches can benefit from each other. Traditional methods can integrate modern systems and provide a therapy-based treatment such as homeopathy. Scientists can mine the list of traditional remedies for various diseases, and refine these herbs into cures such as artemisinin for malaria, or lovastatin to lower cholesterol.

Effective health care doesn’t have to be a battlefield of modern medicine versus traditional practices; practitioners stand to gain by learning from both. For the individual, what matters is still receiving the right treatment from a qualified professional.