Deakin Communicating Science 2016

EES 200/101

From a couch potato to a fit potato Part 1.

For most of us the thought of working out and eating healthy just seems hard and sometimes impossible.

At the end of this blog, couch potatoes of all ages will change the way they feel about exercise and eating right (hopefully).

Exercise and eating well can completely transform your life. In this blog you will find out the benefits of exercise and eating good food. It includes a few tips and tricks to help you make a few changes to your lazy habits. After all your health is your wealth!

Exercise can improve mood, relieve stress and improve your mental health.

As a college student I personally struggle with stress; stress from juggling studies and work etc. One of the ways of coping with stress is exercise! Yes, exercise. Exercise can reduce fatigue which in turn improves alertness and concentration which comes in handy when you lose energy due to stress.

Exercise releases endorphins. Endorphins are neurotransmitters found in the pituitary gland and the nervous system.
Endorphins are made in the spinal cord and the brain. Endorphins relieve the perception of pain and bind to the neuron receptors that some pain medications bind to. Endorphins induce positive feelings similar to those brought about by morphine. Sudden bursts of endorphins can cause the feeling of euphoria.


photo credit: Walk Jog Run

You may experience this feeling after a run! Studies prove that exercise can help battle anxiety and depression.

         Fig. 1 credit: Milestothetrails.com

The graph shows that after a run the levels of happiness and euphoria have significantly increased compared to that at rest.

Now this does not mean that whenever you are stressed you should be spending hours at the gym!  Exercise can be in any form. It can be yoga, a walk, a run or just a short session of high intensity exercises like  weight lifting.

Next time you feel all stressed out and flustered just go for a walk or engage in any form of physical activity and I promise, you will feel a thousand times better!

 

References:

Adaa.org. (2016). Physical Activity Reduces Stress | Anxiety and Depression Association of America, ADAA. [online] Available at: http://www.adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/related-illnesses/other-related-conditions/stress/physical-activity-reduces-st [Accessed 01 May 2016].

Broderick, E. (2015). Seratonin Endorphins & Exercise. [online] LIVESTRONG.COM. Available at: http://www.livestrong.com/article/197569-seratonin-endorphins-exercise/ [Accessed 1 May 2016].

Matz, J. (2015). How running can help relieve stress. [online] WalkJogRun. Available at: http://blog.walkjogrun.net/2015/05/15/how-running-can-help-relieve-stress/ [Accessed 1 May 2016].

WebMD (2016). Exercise and Depression. [online] Available at: http://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/exercise-depression [Accessed 1 May 2016].

M-*ilestothetrials.com (2014). Miles to the Trials: August 2014. [online] Available at: http://www.milestothetrials.com/2014_08_01_archive.html [Accessed 1 May 2016].

 

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3 comments on “From a couch potato to a fit potato Part 1.

  1. demagi
    May 8, 2016

    The title of this article itself is very catchy and made me want to read it. The content is interesting. I love how you have described endorphins. It gives an idea to non-science students on what endorphins are and how they work. It would have been great if you could link some studies that show the effect of exercise on health. http://www.fastcompany.com/3025957/work-smart/what-happens-to-our-brains-when-we-exercise-and-how-it-makes-us-happier This article also gives more details about endorphins and how it works and helps when we exercise. Overall, i loved your article. Good job!

    Like

  2. eacarter94
    May 8, 2016

    Hey,

    So firstly, I’ve always been someone who maintains a high level of stress and if I don’t use coping mechanisms I find it can overwhelm my. I find that exercise is a major reliever of stress in my life.

    I wanted to research a bit more into the release of endorphins. What other substances or activities can trigger the release of endorphins. Below is an article release by Readers digest on 8 other things that can naturally increase the production of Endorphins.
    http://www.rd.com/health/8-ways-to-naturally-increase-endorphins/

    According to the article “A study at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, patients undergoing MRIs who breathed vanilla-scented air reported 63 percent less anxiety than those who breathed unscented air.”

    I thought the first blog was really interesting and has grabbed my attention, I look forward to reading your other two blogs.

    Like

  3. cworrell
    May 8, 2016

    This topic really interests me because I think its something that people don’t see as being legitimate a lot of the time. It isn’t widely acknowledged to be a form of mental health rehab and this is mainly because it isn’t easily measurable and it’s not tangible which are important things for people to have faith. I know i have always found that if i undergo some form of physical exercise for a sustained amount of time i feel a lot happier afterwards than i did before. This feeling is a combination of pride that i did something good for my fitness and the natural release of endorphins (spoken about in this blog). To possibly improve this post you could try to find some studies done on people who are surveyed about how their mood changes from pre to post exercise. This would give a real life example of it in affect.

    Like

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This entry was posted on May 7, 2016 by in Burwood - Friday 10am and tagged , , .

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