Move The Body Heal The Mind


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Can Moving The Body Heal The Mind

Move the Body, Heal the Mind: The Healing Power of Exercise with Jennifer Heisz

In her new book, Jennifer Heisz blends personal experience and the latest science about how exercise can improve your mental well-being.

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When Jennifer Heisz was in graduate school, she borrowed a friends aged, rusty road bike and wound up redirecting her career. At the time, she was studying cognitive neuroscience but, dissatisfied with the direction of her work and her personal life, began experiencing what she now recognizes as pretty severe anxiety, she told me recently. Her friend suggested biking as a reprieve. Not previously athletic, she took to the riding with enthusiasm, finding it soothed my mind, she said.

That discovery convinced her to change the focus of her research. Now the director of the NeuroFit Lab at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, she studies the interplay of physical and emotional health and how exercise helps stave off or treat depression, anxiety, stress and other mental health conditions.

The effects of motion on the mind are just so pervasive and fascinating, said Dr. Heisz.

Can we talk about exercise and anxiety, which many of us are feeling these days?

Any particular type of exercise?

What about more intense workouts?

What would you recommend people do instead?

Does exercise help in the same ways against depression?

Overall Sense Of Well Being

For many years prior to working as a counselor, I was a personal trainer and fitness instructor with a fitness ministry focused on body, mind, and spirit. God has created the three to work together as one. The mind is strong, and what we think and tell ourselves motivates us. When engaging in exercise from a healthy perspective, there are no negative effects and the benefits to mind, body, and spirit are many:

  • More energy and stamina
  • Better heart rate

Feeling helpless and dont know where to start? Take baby steps. You dont have to have the all or nothing mindset. It is OK to start at ground zero and just go for a walk. Making small goals to start with and accomplishing them will give you confidence. It may help having an exercise buddy or even choosing to exercise at a time of day when you have the most energy. Remember something is better than nothing. If you have physical limitations, check with your doctor before you begin.

Move The Body Heal The Mind: 5 Incredible Benefits Of Exercise For Your Brain

A fascinating book on the science behind mental health and exerciseDr. Jennifer Heiszs MOVE THE BODY, HEAL THE MIND: Overcome Anxiety, Depression, and Dementia and Improve Focus, Creativity, and Sleepuses the latest neuroscience research to show how exercise can alleviate depression and stress, prevent dementia, and enhance focus and creativity.

Dr. Heisz is a leading expert on the neuroscience of exercise and is the Director of the NeuroFit Lab at McMaster University, which boasts one of the top kinesiology departments in the world. Structured around Dr. Heiszs personal journey from sedentary scholar to triathlete.

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Moving The Body To Heal The Mind

August 15, 2018Kim Pronoitis, MA, LCPC

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been purchased at a price. Therefore, glorify God in your body” .

Our bodies, which include our mind, are gifts from God, and exercise helps us take care of them. The benefits of exercise are many. Besides being physically fit, exercise benefits a persons mental health. Regular aerobic activity, including jogging, biking, swimming, dancing, and gardening, have proven to increase blood circulation to the brain which helps to alleviate stress and helps with a positive outlook in mood.

Exercise Anxiety And Stress

Heal the Body, Heal the Mind: A Somatic Approach to Moving Beyond ...

Exercise is a natural and effective anti-anxiety treatment. When stressed or anxious, we tense our muscles without even noticing. It is not uncommon for stress to affect the body physically.

  • Exercise can help manage physical tension and anxiety/stress symptoms better.
  • Exercise helps one to stay in the moment and teaches us to be more mindful.
  • Breathing is also a component of exercise and focusing our breath helps in being mindful as well. Let your breath set the rhythm for praising God while you exercise .
  • For those who struggle with anxiety, breathing techniques are used often in therapy and have a natural calming effect.
  • Anxiety causes the mind to go in many different directions, while exercise helps it to stay focused.

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Move The Body Heal The Mind With Jennifer Heisz Phd Therapy For Real Life Podcast

Host Anna Lindberg Cedar, MPA, LCSW interviews Jennifer Heisz, PhD to discuss the healing power of exercise. Dr. Heisz is a neuroscientist, the Director of the NeuroFit Lab at McMaster University, and author of the book, Move The Body, Heal The Mind: Overcome Anxiety, Depression, and Dementia and Improve Focus, Creativity and Sleep . Dr. Heisz describes the many powerful benefits of exercise throughout her book and even offers step by step suggestions on how to use exercise to shape desirable functioning in the brain and mood. Listen in to learn some surprising facts about the neuroscience of exercise. This is not therapy. This is real life. Therapy For Real Life. Learn more: and

Move The Body Heal The Mind5 Incredible Benefits Of Exercise For Your Brain

1. Exercise can alleviate symptoms of mental health conditions like depression and anxiety. These conditions may be caused by neural inflammation, which exercise reduces by releasing specialized proteins called myokines. Dr. Heisz explains why this makes exercise a promising option for the one in three people who dont respond to antidepressants. When it comes to exercise intensity, Dr. Heiszs research suggests that moderate intensity exercise may be best at preventing depression.

2. Exercising can prevent dementia. According to Dr. Heiszs research, your physical activity level contributes to dementia risk as much as your genetics. In other words, being physically inactive can completely negate a healthy set of genes when it comes to developing dementia. Its important to exercise at a level that challenges you to produce lactate, a by-product produced by hardworking muscles. Many fitness instructors talk about flushing lactate from the muscles as if lactate is a bad thing. But the latest research in animal models suggests that lactate may be one of the most important promoters of brain health. During anaerobic exercise, lactate travels directly from the muscles to the brain and promotes the growth of new brain cells in the hippocampus, a key brain region involved in learning and memory that is devastated by Alzheimers disease. This may be why Dr. Heiszs research shows that higher-intensity interval training is most effective at boosting memory across the lifespan.

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