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Is it true that exercising helps keep mentally balanced as well as physically?

I've read in some places that part of the problem with modern society is that we're too sedentary and do not get the amount of exercise that we're meant too; thus causing all sorts of ailments and in general making people just not feel as well I guess.

I've read that it helps keeps the chemicals in your brain properly balanced too, like serotonin, dopamine and stuff.
I know endorphins is a a real one, but is the rest true? it makes sense but I dunno. I never really hear anyone talking about it or very much empirical evidence supporting it being shown or whatever. It's usually just about endorphins and how great endorphins are.
It helps bring more balance to my life and I am diagnosed with schizophrenia/bipolar. I can personally say that exercise greatly affects the mind.
 

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It helps bring more balance to my life and I am diagnosed with schizophrenia/bipolar. I can personally say that exercise greatly affects the mind.
Do you find it makes enough difference for you that you feel you need to do it regularly?

Is it possible for the effects do ever wear off and you become tolerant to it from doing it enough?
 

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Do you find it makes enough difference for you that you feel you need to do it regularly?

Is it possible for the effects do ever wear off and you become tolerant to it from doing it enough?
You can become bored but not if you actively try to keep it interesting. And I have a really hard time trying to do it regularly because I think A LOT. I'm highly creative and enjoy creative outlets. But exercise regularly isn't a big price. It's an hour a day. That's it. The effects stay so long as you continue to exercise. The problem is motivation.
 
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You don't even need to exercise an hr a day, check my avatar pic, to get that all I did was 20mins every other day, its not how long you exercise for, its how efficiently, effectively you workout for!

For instance, 1 hour of walking won't get you far but 20min of high intensity cardio like sprinting/stopping will do wonders.

Diet is 70%, exercise is 30%.

Gym isn't even required, I bought 2 dumbbells and a pull up bar for $200 and thats ALL thats required...
 

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You can become bored but not if you actively try to keep it interesting. And I have a really hard time trying to do it regularly because I think A LOT. I'm highly creative and enjoy creative outlets. But exercise regularly isn't a big price. It's an hour a day. That's it. The effects stay so long as you continue to exercise. The problem is motivation.
Well I've found for me just listening to angry heavy music helps, as well as thinking about everything that makes me angry.
It really me a lot at least. Otherwise I can't really do it.

To be honest though I've always sort of hated sports and exercise.
Being more active though has definitely helped me feel better but I've been wondering if more strenuous activity would help more.

But the thing is I'm already pretty fit, and I don't have a vehicle and basically walk, everywhere
so..I'm trying to figure out if it's needed or would make a difference.
 

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Well I've found for me just listening to angry heavy music helps, as well as thinking about everything that makes me angry.
It really me a lot at least. Otherwise I can't really do it.

To be honest though I've always sort of hated sports and exercise.
Being more active though has definitely helped me feel better but I've been wondering if more strenuous activity would help more.

But the thing is I'm already pretty fit, and I don't have a vehicle and basically walk, everywhere
so..I'm trying to figure out if it's needed or would make a difference.
Are you thinking about weightlifting? It would definitely make a difference, a big one actually. Cardio may not be needed if you walk everywhere and aren't too fat but weightlifting truly adds a lot more to the table, especially in terms of confidence and drive.
 

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Well I've found for me just listening to angry heavy music helps, as well as thinking about everything that makes me angry.
It really me a lot at least. Otherwise I can't really do it.

To be honest though I've always sort of hated sports and exercise.
Being more active though has definitely helped me feel better but I've been wondering if more strenuous activity would help more.

But the thing is I'm already pretty fit, and I don't have a vehicle and basically walk, everywhere
so..I'm trying to figure out if it's needed or would make a difference.
As a coach, this is something I work to really avoid with my athletes. Training out of anger or a negative state of influence really does not benefit you in the long run. There is a time and place for it, dont get me wrong; but someones ability to train from a positive place will work to create a lot more positive attitudes towards the training itself. Generally speaking, the athletes I have that perform from a negative space, are normally the ones that create excuses when something does inevitably go wrong and because you were already in a negative frame of mind, this makes it very difficult to reflect on the positives and understand that you did the best that you could.

Weightlifting is great because it forces you to really dig down and work on movement patterns from their most fundamental stepping stones. Squat, push, pull and jumping. All of these things relate to your ability to move properly and safely. NTM the gym is a controlled environment; you have the ability to control all the variables, how fast you do something, how much you do, how much weight you lift. Once you start seeing those small gains, or hit a goal you didnt expect its one of the greatest feelings in the world. We refer to it as PR high. You hit that goal youve been working towards on a weight and finally everything shitty from your day sort of melts away. Yes it does help get some aggression out, but staying in a positive mind set does wonders when you dont hit that PR you were hoping for.

I would recommend just working on squatting in all kinds of variations, pushups, dips (squats for your arms), deadlifting and benchpress. As you get a little more advanced you can start adding more overhead and dynamic work; but at first you are simply working towards learning proper stability and all the standard lifts (bench, dead and squat) have very specific setups that help learn how to create that power and stability:

This is a great article that talks about squat setups and proper breathing (yes... breathing)


There was one floating around about setting up for a bench but Im not sure where it snuck off to; it involves jamming a ton of tension into your upper back but starting with your head off the end of the bench and skooching, underneath the bar while keeping your feet on the bench. Puts a ton of tension into your back and gets you really tight. Helps make for a really even drive.
 

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i have a specific question relating to possible injury risk. i'll do the long anecdotal, and then i have a couple of specific questions i'd love to get informed feedback on.

a few days ago, i did my workout in the stronglifts 5x5 format: bench press, back squats and deadlift. i've known all along that my left shoulder is weak - at least i've always thought of it as the shoulder. tbh i probably pushed things a bit too far in the bench press.

after the workout and for the day following, i had a sharp/burning pain in the connective tissues directly under and all along the base of my left collarbone. i did a lot of poking and palpating by pressing with the ball of my own thumb, and could definitely feel them. a set of short, wide, rubbery tissues about the dimensions of my thumbnail, definitely very tender. the same thing to a lesser degree if i followed off the edge of the collarbone into the hollow of the shoulder (i found a great one deep in there, which wasn't as sore as the others, but if i leaned on it hard i could get this great twinge going on all the way down into my armpit).

the whole thing had something a rheumatologist once told me is the hallmark of tendonitis - feels okay under strain, but the pain starts when the load is relaxed. i found that shrugging my collarbone in towards my neck was the worst way of setting it off - and again, it didn't actually hurt until i relaxed the shrug and let the bones go back to where they came from.

anyway . . . i thought i'd really messed something up, but i rested, did a lot of triggerpoint pressure, kept doing rom movements, and ate a lot of glucosamine/calcium/omega-3 for a day or two. and i made some guesses about the muscles involved and did some hard work on them too on the theory if the tendons were under strain then loosening out the associated muscles could only help that.

to my surprise, i felt fine enough to go back after a day of rest and do the next workout as planned, with a lot more warmup progressing through weight to about 50% of my actual working weight . . . i avoided the bench press, but i did do overhead presses, squats and deadlift, more or less at the +5 weight levels called for in the programme.

and i feel fine today. actually, that whole shoulder quadrant feels better than it has in some time.

so my questions:

1. am i wrong in thinking the pain was about tendons, and the tendons were the ones that lead from the pecs? i.e. not 'rotator cuff' as everyone seems to recite automatically if you point to that zone.
2. i've got the working theory right now that the progressive/semi-heavy warmup sets were the key yesterday.
3. any suggestions about stabilization or strengthening? i'm right handed and very aware that i'm much weaker on the left than the right.

thanks to anyone with any thoughts.
 

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How much does a healthy diet and exercise increase mental acuity? I know it's specific to the individual, but would someone likely see a fairly significant advantage to actively good health for mental abilities?
 

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How much does a healthy diet and exercise increase mental acuity? I know it's specific to the individual, but would someone likely see a fairly significant advantage to actively good health for mental abilities?
Yep. It's almost like cleaning out the grease blocking your neural pathways. You'll gain confidence mentally and physically. It creates clearer thoughts.
 
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i have a specific question relating to possible injury risk. i'll do the long anecdotal, and then i have a couple of specific questions i'd love to get informed feedback on.

a few days ago, i did my workout in the stronglifts 5x5 format: bench press, back squats and deadlift. i've known all along that my left shoulder is weak - at least i've always thought of it as the shoulder. tbh i probably pushed things a bit too far in the bench press.

after the workout and for the day following, i had a sharp/burning pain in the connective tissues directly under and all along the base of my left collarbone. i did a lot of poking and palpating by pressing with the ball of my own thumb, and could definitely feel them. a set of short, wide, rubbery tissues about the dimensions of my thumbnail, definitely very tender. the same thing to a lesser degree if i followed off the edge of the collarbone into the hollow of the shoulder (i found a great one deep in there, which wasn't as sore as the others, but if i leaned on it hard i could get this great twinge going on all the way down into my armpit).

the whole thing had something a rheumatologist once told me is the hallmark of tendonitis - feels okay under strain, but the pain starts when the load is relaxed. i found that shrugging my collarbone in towards my neck was the worst way of setting it off - and again, it didn't actually hurt until i relaxed the shrug and let the bones go back to where they came from.

anyway . . . i thought i'd really messed something up, but i rested, did a lot of triggerpoint pressure, kept doing rom movements, and ate a lot of glucosamine/calcium/omega-3 for a day or two. and i made some guesses about the muscles involved and did some hard work on them too on the theory if the tendons were under strain then loosening out the associated muscles could only help that.

to my surprise, i felt fine enough to go back after a day of rest and do the next workout as planned, with a lot more warmup progressing through weight to about 50% of my actual working weight . . . i avoided the bench press, but i did do overhead presses, squats and deadlift, more or less at the +5 weight levels called for in the programme.

and i feel fine today. actually, that whole shoulder quadrant feels better than it has in some time.

so my questions:

1. am i wrong in thinking the pain was about tendons, and the tendons were the ones that lead from the pecs? i.e. not 'rotator cuff' as everyone seems to recite automatically if you point to that zone.
2. i've got the working theory right now that the progressive/semi-heavy warmup sets were the key yesterday.
3. any suggestions about stabilization or strengthening? i'm right handed and very aware that i'm much weaker on the left than the right.

thanks to anyone with any thoughts.
1) I think what you're describing does sound like tendons, but I'm not a certified health professional.

2) On the bigger exercises, always do warm-up/ramping sets, to prepare your body for the coming strain. (I need to work on this myself.)

3) Hold back a little on your right, if you'd like, and work harder on your left. That makes sense to me. But, again, not a certified health professional. I'd also recommend something outside of weight training, like Yoga. For some reason, I can see this strengthening and enhancing balance to the muscles, since it's very much a part of the practice to do the same thing on both sides. But, utilizing an extra workout activity is entirely up to you. I think that your left side will eventually meet your right, as long as you remain consistent.
 

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1) I think what you're describing does sound like tendons, but I'm not a certified health professional.
thanks for the response - it's been quite a while. i'd forgotten about this post :laughing:.

we were both probably on the money. i haven't had that problem again since the first day, and the shoulder is still my limiting factor but clearly getting stronger all the time. i guess maybe on the first day the muscles were just so shocked about being used that they tensed up enough to give the tendons some grief.
 

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thanks for the response - it's been quite a while. i'd forgotten about this post :laughing:.

we were both probably on the money. i haven't had that problem again since the first day, and the shoulder is still my limiting factor but clearly getting stronger all the time. i guess maybe on the first day the muscles were just so shocked about being used that they tensed up enough to give the tendons some grief.
Yeah, I've had some pretty intense, sharp, cramping pains in muscles when I've strained them too much. Just give 'em a rest, ice 'em, and see if you can try again in a couple of days-- Has always been my strategy. :D I'm a bit of a wimp, 'cause I'm a bit too careful about not getting an injury.
 

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How long should one rest a sore lower back? Better to get straight back into it with cardio and skip the weights for a while or wait until I can move freely again without any pain?

(I'm just getting slightly impatient sitting around not going to the gym..)
 

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How long should one rest a sore lower back? Better to get straight back into it with cardio and skip the weights for a while or wait until I can move freely again without any pain?

(I'm just getting slightly impatient sitting around not going to the gym..)
Depending on the cardio you may end up making the pain worse then it was before. While exercise is known to release endorphins which help to block pain, many forms of cardio can cause stress on your back and knees. Jogging is a major one of those and should avoided.

As for lifting weights, I have suffered from a bad back for years. I refuse to let it slow me down or keep me from the gym. When I over do it and cause myself pain I just focus my lifts on points that do not strain my lower back for about a week or until I can go 24 hours without feeling pain.

Legs, chest(with care), shoulders, arms and even your upper back can be exercised without putting unneeded strain on your lower back. Proper form and controlled lifting is the key to avoiding further injury. As for cardio I would stick to low impact exercises. Stair master is my go to when I need to raise my heart rate without stressing my core. Its boring... but its works.

I don't go at it at 100% when my back is acting up but I never let it be an excuse to avoid going to the gym. You'll find if you are careful with your workouts that the injury can heal faster with moderate physical work then it would on its own as a couch potato.

Good luck!
 

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How long should one rest a sore lower back? Better to get straight back into it with cardio and skip the weights for a while or wait until I can move freely again without any pain?

(I'm just getting slightly impatient sitting around not going to the gym..)
Depends on the cause of the sore lower back. If it's from tight hip flexors then some stretching is in order. And if its from the erector spinae muscles just being worked hard then you could do some "rehab" exercises: basically a no to light weight lower back exercise just to get the kinks out.
 

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Depending on the cardio you may end up making the pain worse then it was before. While exercise is known to release endorphins which help to block pain, many forms of cardio can cause stress on your back and knees. Jogging is a major one of those and should avoided.
I would be doing spin cycling and maybe some time on the elliptical. Might start off with the elliptical first and leave the spin cycle alone for a couple more days. Running is off limits anyway.


I don't go at it at 100% when my back is acting up but I never let it be an excuse to avoid going to the gym. You'll find if you are careful with your workouts that the injury can heal faster with moderate physical work then it would on its own as a couch potato.
Good point. Might give it a couple of days more rest and work outside of the classes I usually do to test the waters.



Depends on the cause of the sore lower back. If it's from tight hip flexors then some stretching is in order. And if its from the erector spinae muscles just being worked hard then you could do some "rehab" exercises: basically a no to light weight lower back exercise just to get the kinks out.
Started off with a knee injury that comes from bad feet. High arches > did lots of jumping and running > knees grumpy and painful > now lower back joined the party. Been doing lots of stretching and just walking but even that is really quite painful still.

Thanks for the input!
 

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I would be doing spin cycling and maybe some time on the elliptical. Might start off with the elliptical first and leave the spin cycle alone for a couple more days. Running is off limits anyway.



Good point. Might give it a couple of days more rest and work outside of the classes I usually do to test the waters.



Started off with a knee injury that comes from bad feet. High arches > did lots of jumping and running > knees grumpy and painful > now lower back joined the party. Been doing lots of stretching and just walking but even that is really quite painful still.

Thanks for the input!
Maybe invest in some custom designed shoes?
 

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Asking for advice:

Just got a large tattoo piece on my back/side. Artist gave the green light for "light cardio" (not heavy stuff that will cause stretching and twisting).

Should I sit out of workouts for a few days, or just do some "power walking" or...?
 

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Asking for advice:

Just got a large tattoo piece on my back/side. Artist gave the green light for "light cardio" (not heavy stuff that will cause stretching and twisting).

Should I sit out of workouts for a few days, or just do some "power walking" or...?
Light cardio could be walking or jogging. I say do that but don't sweat too much either. I think he is just talking about not jumping etc. because the motion would bend your back. If you keep a stiff back while walking or jogging then you should be okay.
 
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