Exercise Is A Great Election Day Stress Buster

Today, national Election Day in the United States is likely to be a stressful day for many people. In fact, if projections are correct we will probably not know the final results of the Presidential election for several days. That will undoubtedly create even more stress.

This blog site focuses on health and wellness, with an emphasis on evidence directed recommendations. So here’s one bit of advice that’s backed by exceptionally strong evidence: there’s no part of your life that isn’t improved by exercise. This goes for stress around the election too.

The message today is short and simple: any type of movement-based exercise is a fantastic stress buster.

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Distant Socializing- Important For Health And Sanity

As we move into the coming weeks I want to point out that as of today the best weapon in the fight against spreading coronavirus is physical distancing. Whenever possible maintain at least a 6 foot space between you and the next person.  Wash your hands or use hand sanitizers frequently. I hope we have other tools available to us soon but for now this is the reality.

There is a negative aspect of the commonly used term “social distancing”, in that it means people can be come emotionally disconnected from one another. This can result in worsening mental health issues, loneliness, and depression. I’ve linked here to an outstanding article from Stanford professor Jamil Zaki who urges we use technology to stay connected to others. He calls this “distant socializing”.

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Sports and Exercise: Good For Your Mental Health

I have a belief that those people who regularly participate in sport or fitness activities have a better mental health profile than those who don’t. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, pretty much everyone shares this belief but actually proving it can be difficult. It’s probably one of those basic principles that you have to take on faith. However, a recently published studyshows a correlation between regular sport and fitness participation and fewer “bad” mental health days.

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Be On The Lookout For Anxiety In Young Athletes

According to the National Institute for Mental Health, it’s estimated that about 32% of all adolescents in the U.S. have some form of anxiety and about 8% have what would be classified as severe anxiety. It shouldn’t be surprising then that the estimates for anxiety disorders in young athletes is also high. While there are only a limited number of high quality studies about anxiety specific to the athletic population, it’s still estimated that more than 30% of collegiate student-athletes have experienced overwhelming anxiety.

The good news is that when anxiety and depression are recognized, they can be successfully treated and lead to substantial improvements in quality of life.

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