I had to! Seriously when else was I ever going to get a chance to quote the movie “The Waterboy”?!
It’s been a rough couple of months and many of us have found it difficult to stay consistent with our normal exercise routines. So this week, instead of a workout video, we thought we’d bring our friend Dr. Alex Spinoso of CellSpark Regenerative Center to you. In this video, Dr. Alex breaks down the mental and physical benefits of exercise. A good reminder of how important regular exercise is.
So now that things are opening up and we’re getting back to normal, getting outside, starting to exercise more because we all know we’ve been gaining weight from sitting on our couches, being able to watch nothing but Tiger King and things like that. One of the things I want to talk about when exercising outdoors is neglected is how it affects our mental health. In fact, all aerobic exercises and that includes jogging, swimming, cycling, walking, gardening, dancing. They’ve all been shown to actually reduce and help treat anxiety and depression.
So now that we’ve been getting outside more and more, I kind of want to talk about how exercise improves our body and how it works. When we’re getting outside, we’re breathing fresh air, we’re getting vitamin D, all things that are going to one, boost our immune system, and help us fight off any viruses or bacteria or anything that we come across. But one of the main things that exercise does is improve circulation and blood flow to the brain when you have more oxygen and improved circulation to the brain. One thing that happens is that there’s an influence on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, the HPA axis. So what this is is this is the part of your brain that psychologically reacts to stress. If you’re about to fight a bear or fight somebody, the HPA turns on and creates a lot of stress through different feedback mechanisms. Now exercise actually helps relax that area of the body and produces endorphins and different things that make us feel better. So the HPA axis actually works on the amygdala, which is part of that ole’ medulla oblongata. Remember, “Mama said alligators are ornery because they got all them teeth but no toothbrush”. And so this is the same part of the brain that I’m talking about that helps us feel better when we get outside and we exercise.
Along with that, the hippocampus is a part of the brain that gets increased blood flow as well. And this helps with different memory, transitioning short term memory to long term memory. So if you’re studying or you’re trying to research something and it’s really difficult, get outside and walk a little bit, get some fresh air. Studies show that exercising while you’re studying or in between studying will help you retain that information more. So exercise doesn’t also, it doesn’t just improve mental health in terms of anxiety and things like that. It also improves your self esteem, cognitive function, all these different things. If you’re fit, you have a healthy life, you’ll feel better, you’ll look better, you’ll perform better. And on the business side of things, yes you’ll make more money. So here’s just a list. Some of the things that exercise does that can help you out.
One, it improves your sleep. Two, it improves your interest in sex. Better endurance both during sex and during exercise. Stress relief, improvement in mood, increased energy and stamina, reduced tiredness, weight reduction, reduced cholesterol, improved cardiovascular function, which is going to lead to treatment of diabetes and high blood pressure and issues such as that.
So mental health service providers, they don’t actually only give medication. One of the main things they do is lifestyle changes. And one of the biggest things to do in order to change your lifestyle is to get out, get active, get exercise. Even if it’s for 20 minutes, three times a week, walking through your local park, walking your dog, walking somebody else’s dog. Go out there, get fresh air. Take that mask off. You don’t have to worry if you’re not around a big, large group of people coughing on all of them. Get outside, get some fresh air. Help your immune system and help your mental health more than anything.
In Good Health – Dr. Alex Spinoso