Saturday, August 31, 2013

360fit - Exercise for a Healthy Mind

What to think better? Exercise!

Exercise is not just for increasing muscle size and strength, weight-loss, or decreasing diseases. Exercise can reduce stress level, help lift feelings of depression, and 
boost brainpower. 
This is undeniable important considering 27% of Canadian workers describe their lives as high stress and eight percent of Canadians are effected by depression.

Exercise can help improve mental health in three ways;

1. During exercise the body releases three major hormones. Serotonin is a chemical occurring within the body, that contributes to feelings of well-being and happiness (and overall mood), appetite, sleep, and can help improve memory and ability to learn. Norepinephrine is a hormone associated with improved cognitive function and elevated mood. Endorphins are produces in the body and function as neurotransmitters; Endorphins are chemicals that interact with cell receptors in the brain, reducing your perception of pain, and trigger positive feelings in the body; this can be accompanied by a positive or energetic outlook on life, which in turn can help improve mood; endorphins resemble opiates in that they produce a natural "pain-killer" feeling, as well as feelings of well-being.

2. Exercise can provide a sense of control over the body. Concerning people suffering from depression, this sense of control can lead to realization that they can in fact have control in other areas of their lives too, alleviating some of the stress and feelings of helplessness that can be associated with depression. When it comes to exercise and depression, it is important to make sure it is something that you enjoy; you want to stay motivated to do it over a long period of time. Also exercise often results in a boost in self-esteem, by contributing to a sense of accomplishment. It also will lead to positive changes in the body, leading to an improved body image. Both of these factors reduce stress and feelings of negativity.

3. Exercise can actually improve brain power!  Frequent and regular exercise helps reduce risk for age related neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's or Parkinson's disease. Exercise is also thought to improve learning, especially when coordination is involved. Exercise gets blood pumping, increasing the amount of oxygen delivered to the brain. Exercise also helps in nerve cells bind together, which is the cellular basis for learning new information. Exercise also is thought to help  development of new nerve cells in an area of the brain called the hippocampus, which is related to memory and learning. How exciting!

There are many benefits to exercise, both for mental and physical health, and you can reap the rewards of regular exercise! But you've got to do the work! For maximum results, exercise needs to be done on a regular basis; this means between 3-5 times per week, and for a duration of 30-60 minutes. 

One of my favorite quotes is "If it doesn't challenge you, it doesn't change you." Keep that in mind!

Kaley Hall is an award winning personal trainer with 360fit in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. 

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Take a Break by Devin Sherringon - 360fit

I love working out. I love the feeling of sweating, being tired, feeling the muscles burn. All that stuff, and sometimes I have to force myself to take time off so I won't over train.

Training hard four or five days a week is great for everyone, but it also is hard on your body. It pushes you to the limits and makes your body repair itself almost every day. While that is good for getting in better shape, too much is a bad thing. That's when you start over training.

You can tell if you're over training because you get tired easily, crave junk or fatty foods, can't sleep well and just don't feel like you have any pop left. As soon as that happens, take four to six days off.

Now when you're in a groove it can be hard to do that, but you're doing what is best for your body. You'll feel a little weird about it at first but it will come together fast and in a few days you'll feel like yourself again.

I usually force myself to take time off every 12 weeks whether I feel over trained or not. It just helps my body to recover and feel better.

So try a little down time and you'll be amazed how much better shape you can get in.

Devin Sherrington is an award winning master personal trainer and owner of 360fit in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. He lives in Fletcher's Lake with his children Reign and Journey.

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