Tag Archives: Health

From the Sunshine State to the Windy City: An Interview with Cory Vogt

By Margo Ruter

A Florida native, Cory Vogt is spending is first winter in Chicago, and recently felt the first snow of the season. But for Cory, it was his first snow. Florida, the Sunshine State, has been home to him for twenty years. Although most of us are used to the decline of available Vitamin D from November to March, we took a minute to sit down with the rookie himself and see how things are going.

Occam’s Taser: What was your first reaction when you saw snow?
Cory Vogt: It was slightly surreal. I really didn’t know what to expect. Ever since I got here in March, people have been telling me horror stories about the winters here. It’s funny because it’s always “not last year, but the year before” that was the worst winter ever.

OT: What do most people say is the worst part?
CV: The short and gray days. I’m so used to long and sunny days in Florida, it didn’t make total sense to me. It was such a new thing to imagine. But now it gets dark at 4:30 in the afternoon, it’s so limiting. In Florida it stays sunny out until 7:00 all year round, so adjusting to the darkness has been a challenge.

OT: How have the gray days been on your psyche so far?
CV: Well it’s definitely been strange. Going from constant sun, to constant gray for a week or so is incredibly weird. I anticipate a few rough days in February, but I don’t think it will disrupt my life.

OT: Sunlight is one of the crucial providers of Vitamin D. Have you noticed any physiological effects with this climate change?
CV: I’m just very mellow. It almost feels like a slower pace, but that doesn’t make sense, it’s Chicago. I have noticed that my allergies are no longer a problem. I’m allergic to just about everything under the sun, so I moved somewhere with less sunlight, and bam – problem solved.

OT: A common effect of less Vitamin D in your diet is a weakened immune system. Have you been sick at all?
CV: I got sick when I first moved. I haven’t been sick since then, but I do feel fatigued more often. I have been sleeping a lot more. I’ll wake up and still be tired for a longer period of time. The sun has a natural way of waking you up to begin with, so without it, it’s pretty hard to shake it off in the morning.

OT: Do you take vitamins at all?
CV: I take a multi-vitamin. I like to make sure it has Vitamin D in it because I know that my source has been greatly diminished. I also take a lot of B Vitamins. They help pick up the slack the sun left behind.

OT: What are some of your concerns as the winter continues and the days get shorter?
CV: I think just staying active and productive. I’ve noticed that it’s really easy to get sucked into the grayness, especially if you don’t utilize what little day there is. I worry about the cold and snow in terms of transportation because it’s something I’ve never had to battle.

OT: You definitely need a legitimate set of winter gear. Are you prepared?
CV: I’m getting there. As the days get colder, I’m realizing the kind of things I need to buy. Thicker gloves are next.

OT: Have you considered fake baking to get that extra Vitamin D that you miss from Florida?
CV: No. But I’ll keep it in mind.

As you can see, Florida consistently has more hours of sunlight per day than Illinois. While Florida residents may not have to worry about a Vitamin D deficiency, Illinois residents should take special care from November to April while sunlight is grim.

Perhaps Cory will have a colder winter than most, but we can rest assured that Occam’s Taser reminded him of the dangers of Vitamin D deficiency. Being aware of the challenging differences from Florida to Chicago is the first step in overcoming the winter blues and staying healthy. Keep on your vitamins and stay warm kids.


Interview: An Insider’s Take On Tanning

By Daniella Lee

Vitamin D is the secret steroid that provides benefits such as a longer, healthier life and overall happiness. But when the sun sets and the winter cold creeps up, the recommended intake for Vitamin D might be a little difficult to reach. A possible solution: tanning salons. Now, we’re not suggesting you turn into Snooki, but she may be onto something. This week, we sat down with Melina Vincent, an employee at Halsted Tan and Spa to find out if tanning salons can provide you with that extra vitamin D you need to get through the winter.

Occam’s Taser: What tanning services are offered at Halsted Tan and Spa?
Melina Vincent: We offer UVA tanning (helps eliminate burning), UVB and UVA, and our spray tan which is called Versa.  All the UV beds we have include base level, mid level and high level and both stand ups and lay downs in each.

OT: Tell us about the different levels of tanning?
MV: Base level is equivalent to a level 3 or level 4, it will give you a good base color tan without making you too dark.  Mid-level is the next up and includes more intense face and shoulder tanners.  It’s a stronger voltage and has more bulbs in the bed so you get a deeper tan and after a few visits you look like you came back from vacation.  Our high-level beds are a good way to get color right away that stays for a few days without doing the versa spa.  It’s a higher voltage than both the base level and mid level and has more beds than all of them.  We have two beds imported from Italy that are Strictly UVA so if someone who is fairer complected and wanted to go in a high level bed they can go in one of these beds and still receive all the benefits of the high level bed without burning.

OT: How does your salon offer Vitamin D?
MV: Because each bed is the newest technology it makes sure to give you a safe tan with your daily amount of Vitamin D.  We also offer deals like $2 tan coupons, $5 tans every Tuesday, and $10 on any bed (including our $32 high level bed) after 9pm Tues-Thurs. to promote UV tanning and Vitamin D Nutrition.

OT: What are the major side effects of tanning?
MV: To much exposure or burning is something we see very often, people will come in and want to do a strong bed for the full time and they haven’t been in the sun so their melanin is still “sleeping” and although we warn them they still tend to burn.  Also, a side effect could be wrinkles at an early age ONLY if you abuse your tanning privileges and have been doing it for many many years.

OT: What are the benefits of tanning?
MV: Vitamin D is the biggest benefit because studies have shown that people who have the required amount of vitamin D daily and or weekly are healthier than those who are not.  Also, you get a nice color and look healthy.

OT: What do you recommend at your salon?
MV: I recommend trying the UVA bed because it’s very uncommon for a salon to have it. If you have an upcoming special event, try the Versa Spa Spray because it is the newest spray tan technology. It’s a sugar based solution, not an iodine base,  so it won’t turn your skin orange.

OT: How does Halsted Tan and Spa promote tanning?
MV: We promote tanning in the safest way possible, we make sure every client goes into the room with eye-wear and we encourage them to have lotion to moisturize their skin. We also have many many options, so between packages and specials and beds a customer can really come in and customize exactly what they want to do. We advertise a healthy glow during the winter and promote Vitamin D benefits.

Tanning salons can be your resource for that healthy glow and your vitamin D fix. Now, we aren’t recommending that you turn into an Oompa-Loompa, but the occasional drop-in won’t hurt. Before you head into any salon, get to know all the facts. Melina and the tanning world like to look at the benefits of the tanning bed, but there is a dark side. UVA rays go deep into the skin creating that nice golden brown tan, but provide no Vitamin D production. UVB rays are the ones that stimulate the vitamin D production, but also burns your skin easily. And we all know that tanning increases your risk for skin cancer. Halsted Tan and Spa does offers great deals, if the tanning bed is suddenly calling your name, so you can glow even in the winter snow.

New Vitamin D Intake Recommendations Released By Medical Panel

By Lizzy Sebuck

What a coincidence! During our weekly topic focusing on Vitamin D and health, new recommendations for Vitamin D intake have been reviewed and released by The Institute of Medicine Panel. As of November 30th, the institute’s research states that many people already get sufficient levels of Vitamin D intake from their usual diets. The new Vitamin D recommendation is based off of how much Vitamin D people need to support their calcium levels. While maintaining sufficient levels of Vitamin D can do wonders for your overall health, the panel concluded the newly released intake levels will specifically benefit bone health. Below are the new levels of Vitamin D intake recommended by the panel to support calcium levels in the body:

Infants – 400 units
Children/Adults – 600 units

Translation? 600 IU (units) of Vitamin D amounts to 5 cups of milk, or 5 oz of salmon. The reports say that this is a large improvement over previous years of Vitamin D diet regulations. So if you’re not much of a pill popper and want to steer clear of the supplements we previously referred you to, then try salmon for spin to get your Vitamin D. This research claims that taking too many Vitamin D supplements can have a negative effect on your health. According to this research, a healthy diet and some sunlight could just do the trick.


So grab that grocery list off the fridge and jot down milk and salmon, we know what you’ll be eating for dinner this week.

Good Morning America

The Sunshine Vitamin

By Katie Gangloff

Feel the winter blues creeping up? Most of us are aware of the physical and mental numbing of the winter cold. The sun doesn’t shine as long as it does in warmer months. To escape the cold we spend most of our time hibernating indoors snuggled up on the couch with a cup of hot cocoa and the first season of Glee. Studies show that we should be getting as much sunlight as possible during winter months because the sun doesn’t shine as long and isn’t as warm as it is in June and July. Having sufficient levels of Vitamin D can prevent depression, muscle and bone weakness, certain types of cancer, and much more. Kennel, Drake, and Hurley find that many people are Vitamin D deficient and may not even know it. Adequate levels of Vitamin D are measured from the 25-hydroxyvitamin D, (also known as 25(OH)D), concentration in the blood.

“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported that the percentage of adults achieving vitamin D sufficiency as defined by 25(OH)D of as least 30 ng/mL [nanograms per milliliter] has declined from about 60% in 1988-1994 to approximately 30% in 2001-2004 in whites and from about 10% to approximately 5% in African Americans during this same time.”

First of all, what is Vitamin D? It’s not technically a vitamin, but an extremely powerful steroid hormone in our bodies. The easiest (and free) way to obtain Vitamin D is via sun exposure. way. Cholesterol is absorbed by your skin and eventually converted into Vitamin D by the liver. The only way to get it is from the sun, not through food. The cholesterol in the skin is gradually lost as our bodies age, which in turn creates an inability to synthesize the Vitamin D.

Another way to gain the essential ‘vitamin’ is through a supplement. “Since 1997, the Food and Nutrition Board has advised an AI [all individuals] of Vitamin D of 200 to 600 IU/d[International Units].” In relation to other medicines, this is like taking two Tylenol for a headache, only this stuff is much better. This dosage was recommended to be taken and used to fortify foods.

What do you do if you have a Vitamin D deficiency? By taking a “loading dose” you can jump start the production of Vitamin D in your body. A loading dose is almost like pumping a whole butt load of adrenaline or steroids at one time in order to get a better result in the end. One way to load a dose is to take 50,000 IU (or 1.25 milligrams) of Vitamin D once weekly for a designated amount of time prescribed by your doctor. Of course Vitamin D comes in a variety of doses, from 200 IU up to 5000 IU. Below are a few reasons why you should care about your Vitamin D level.

Kennel, Drake, and Hurley suggest that having enough Vitamin D can prevent the following:

  • rickets
  • 17 types of cancer including pancreatic, colon/rectal, stomach, prostate, lung, breast, bladder, uterine, espousal, kidney, ovarian, multiple melanoma, non-hodgkin’s lymphoma, and leukemia
  • lower blood pressure
  • improve immune system function (prevents colds and flu), autoimmune function, inflammation
  • multiple sclerosis
  • autism
  • allergies
  • preeclampsia
  • both type 1 and type 2 diabetes
  • osteoporosis
  • depression
  • muscle and bone weakness
  • generalized pain

A common misconception is that Vitamin D will ‘cure’ all of the above, but really if you had sufficient levels of Vitamin D most of these things wouldn’t have happened in the first place.

“So Vitamin D simply allows our bodies to work the way they were designed to “

Now, you’re thinking, “how am I supposed to get sun when the days are becoming shorter and shorter?” A few suggestions include to take a walk during your lunch break, stand in the sun so your face is exposed, take supplements, and definitely talk to your doctor to find out if you are Vitamin D deficient. For those of you that hit the tanning beds, you’ll get your Vitamin D fix but be weary of the side-affects. Ever heard of skin cancer? Play it safe and stick to supplements.

We are reading your mind once again, why should you care if you’re getting enough Vitamin D? The benefits are tremendous, Vitamin D can keep you healthy, strong, alive longer, and overall happier. And who doesn’t want to be happier?

Kennel, Kurt A., Matthew T. Drake, and Daniel L. Hurley. “Vitamin D Deficiency in Adults: When to Test and How to Treat.” Mayo Clinic. 85.8 (2010): 752-758.

Add Some Muscle To Your Mind: An Interview With An Occupational Therapist

by Katie Gangloff

Occupational Therapist

This week we learned how exercise increases brain activity. Everyone always makes a New Year’s resolution to lose weight, which most of the time falls out shortly after Valentine’s Day. Some people even start to exercise right before beach body season. Now, you have a good excuse to exercise, come on, who doesn’t want to have beauty and brains?

This week we interviewed Amanda Rosenthal, an occupational therapist who specializes in pediatrics. She’s a certified Peak Pilates instructor and a work-out fanatic. She finds the time to workout because it makes her feel good and gives her energy to go about her day. She certainly needs the energy because she recently had her first baby girl, Annabelle. As we talked we discovered some of the benefits of working out, and found out Amanda’s favorite ways to get fit.

Occam’s Taser: Tell me about your work-out regiment.
Amanda Rosenthal: I have been working out all my life.  My mom is a fitness instructor and personal trainer so she kept us all active while we were growing up and I was in sports in high school. I really got more into working out when I was in college. I was inspired to be in better shape just to look good in a bathing suit. So that is when I started making it a daily habit and now I am addicted. Working out gives me energy for the busy days and makes me feel good. I feel more positive when I work out which is actually the endorphins kicking in but the positive attitude lasts all day!

OT: What types of working out benefit you the most personally? Cardio, Pilates, Yoga, etc…
AR: All together! I need the Pilates for strengthening and lengthening, yoga for strength and detoxing, cardio for endurance and detoxing. You cannot just do one type of work out and expect to be in good shape.

OT: Do you do anything out of the ordinary or have strange workout habits or strange exercise tips?
AR: Not really strange just mixing it up. There all sorts of fun workouts from dancing like Zumba, Pilates with the reformer, Birkram Yoga (Hot Yoga), spin classes to burlesque workouts! So I think it is a great idea to have fun working out!

OT: Are there any exercise tips you tell your kids to do that might benefit the older generation?
AR: Exercise is so important for kids. Mostly I talk with parents about giving their kids more opportunities to be active.  Don’t carry them, let them walk! Go to the park, take walks, ride bikes and so on. Don’t let your children sit on the couch for most of the day. Their bodies and brains grow and learn while they are moving. I also highly recommend a version of the sun salutation for those children, and adults, with a lot of energy. They do this routine a few times before they have to sit for a long period of time to increase focus.

OT: What is a good workout regimen for people of all shapes and sizes?
AR: Doing strength exercises 3 times a week and cardio 2 to 3 times a week for a half an hour each. New research is showing that you don’t have to work out long to get in shape. The optimal way to do cardio is to do 30 seconds of high intensity aerobics with 90 seconds of recovery for 7 cycles. That adds up to even less than a half hour! Don’t forget to do strength, when you have more muscle you burn more calories.

OT: This week we found out that cardio improves brain function. Have you heard that before? If not, why do you think it is true?
AR: Yes. Of course you are improving blood flow to every area of the body when you exercise, including the brain.

OT: What are some benefits of a treadmill versus an elliptical. We’ve all seen those elliptical commercials about walking on sand!
AR: Both can be a great way of working out. Treadmills provide impact which can assist with building stronger bones but could also cause joint injury. The best way to work out on a treadmill is to do a brisk walking on an increasing incline. So go from and incline of 2 to 4 to 6 to 8 to 10 and so on and back down. This gives you great cardio and is less harsh on your joints than running, just don’t cheat by holing on while you are walking! The elliptical takes out the impact and adds in the arms.  You have to move at a good pace on it though in order to get a good workout. Going slowly while watching TV is not going to do much.

OT: For someone with a busy schedule, how do you suggest they fit an effective workout into their day?
AR: It’s easy to slip it in throughout the day. Park at the back of the parking lot, go up the stairs instead of taking the elevator, sit on a ball instead of a chair when you are working or on the computer. I like to slip in some push-ups, squats and leg lifts while I am waiting for the washing machine to fill. Then when you have a half an hour do a quick video, or do the cardio cycle I suggested earlier.

Work Out

OT: Could you elaborate on the pros or cons of working out with a buddy versus working out alone?
AR: Buddies are great! If you have a hard time getting motivated, pair up with someone who likes to work out.  People who have a work out buddy may find they are more willing to work out more often. However, your buddy has to be there to work out not to chat. If you are too busy talking, you are not working hard enough! Some people may find that they can work out harder and faster without someone else slowing them down.  So it is definitely a personal preference whether your workout buddy is another person or your i-pod! Another good option is to join in a group fitness class like spin, Zumba or Pilates. They are motivating and make the work out go by faster.

Workout Friend

OT: Did you ever enter the aerobic craze of the early 90s?!
AR: I was pretty young at the time but my mom was all about it! She actually did teach a children’s fitness class which I was a part of. We worked out to “Vogue” by Madonna! Good times.


OT: What are some benefits of cardio that people may not know about?
AR: Cardio has been found to be very effective in helping with depression and anxiety. So if you feel down or stressed, instead of grabbing a movie and some ice cream, go for a walk or turn up the music and dance. You will feel better for it. Even though working out can use a lot of energy, you will actually have more energy throughout the day and then sleep better at night if you make exercise a habit.

There you have it; cardio gives you energy, makes you happy, can be done with a buddy, or your iPod, and increases brain function. If you’re looking for an awesome song to workout to and are looking for a throwback, check out “Lets Get Physical” by Olivia Newton John. And don’t forget, squats, push-ups,  and leg lifts are awesome exercises to do while waiting for the laundry or even while your watching your favorite T.V. shows. Zap!

Workouts In The Midst Of Winter-Blues

by Margo Ruter

For those of us not blessed with the southern California sun year-round, staying in shape in the winter time is harder than being the cool kid in 7th grade. With the short days of dim sunlight, it can be pretty rough to get yourself out of bed at 6 A.M for a morning jog. The good news is that you have a lot of options, the bad news is that motivation doesn’t come in a package deal.

1. Get a gym-membership
It might seem like a no brainer, but getting a gym-membership early in the season can jump start a winter workout routine. Most gyms have many alternative workouts that don’t include watching CNN on a treadmill. Try taking spin classes, step-aerobics, zumba,  pilates, yoga and even water aerobics (of course, mainly for those over 75 and have arthritis). The main perk for a gym-membership is the part where you get in the hot tub post workout. This calms down your muscles and gets you toasty enough to bear the winter breeze.

2. Snowboarding/Skiing
Most people don’t live next to a ski lodge, but snowboarding and skiing are great activities for you and a handful of friends. Just walking around with long paddles of anything stuck on your feet is a workout in itself. Add snow, a big hill, and you’re set for some cardio activity. Just please… be careful, and remember that trees are not your friends in this case.

3. Snowshoeing
Although snowshoeing may be a lost art, it can be fun if you live close to any sort of forest preserve. Snowshoes look like tennis rackets attached to your feet and help distribute your weight evenly across the area of snow so you don’t sink down. Because of the shape of the shoes though, you end up having to adjust how you walk. It would be a good idea to do this with a friend you can laugh at because people tend to look like ducks in this footwear.

4. Sledding
Sledding is perhaps a nostalgic word for most, but going sledding is a great cardio activity. You need a lot of heavy winter gear, a big hill, and a sled. While going down the hill is certainly the best aspect of this activity. You have to truck your ass up a hill covered in snow numerous times throughout the afternoon only to go down again. As counter productive as it may seem, sledding gets your heart pumping.

5. Curling
For all of you shuffleboard fans out there who are bummed out that the season is over, rest assured that curling season is only beginning. Curling is essentially shuffleboard on ice with a tad bit more strategy involved. The game consists of two teams, each with four players who slide heavy granite slabs to targets at the other end of the ice. Scored similarly to bags (or corn-hole), this game is good for your upper body. It has been nicknamed “chess on ice” because it involves intensive teamwork to ensure that the slabs are slid to the ideal location.

6. Take a ballet class
Laugh it off, but ballet is an incredibly active art form. Most medium sized cities in the U.S. have a ballet school that offers open classes. This means that you don’t need any sort of prior dance training to be able to take the class. These classes are geared towards adults. The first half of the class consists of something called barre work. Your body gets a good stretch, and you do a lot of leg exercises. The second half of the class is where the real workout is. You jump, you run, you hold your leg up for what may seem like an eternity, but it gets your blood flowing with the rest of ‘em. The best part is that open classes don’t have a dress code. So if you’re a little weary about wearing a leotard around a bunch of strangers, don’t worry, you can usually wear sweats.

7. Buy stuff for your living room
You don’t always need to spend a boatload of money on a home gym. Places like Target have simple weights and work out videos if you have a little extra room in your living room and happen to be snowed in. Buying workout equipment is always a smart investment (if you use it) because if it doesn’t get you working out asap, then it will sit around in your basement or closet and make you increasingly guilty until you do.

8. Shoveling snow
If you have a back problem, then hire the 13 year old boy down the street to shovel your front sidewalk, but if not, then get out there and work it out. Shoveling snow is the equivalent of lifting weights and can get you working up quite the sweat. If you find yourself on a role, go ahead and do the neighbor’s sidewalk and feel great about it all for the rest of the day, until it snows again of course.

Don’t let the wind, cold, ice, snow, slush, and sad faces put a cramp in your workout style. Often working out in the winter is more fun with more people. So get your friends to go out there with you and remember to bring the whiskey-cider. Cheers.

The Mind Body Connection

by Lizzy Sebuck

Through our research this week, we have concluded that there is a clear correlation between the health of the body to the physical condition of the mind. In the research we reviewed, we found that preservation of the body through exercise can result in a better preserved mind with age.

It turns out that working out not only adds brawn to your brain, but could be cloud nine for your noodle as well. In our research today, we’ve found that working out can actually make you a happier person! The mind- body connection works both ways: the health of the body can have an affect on the mind, as well as the condition of the mind having an affect on the body. Santa may be a jolly ole’ soul… but this research says a more fit and in-shape Santa would have an even better attitude if he would just put down those milk and cookies.


Feeling down? A little blue? Seasonal depression getting the best of ya? It’s okay, we don’t have to hug it out or anything, we have to work it out. Here’s the deal with working out: you do good things for your body, your body does good things for you. There are a few theories as to why exercise has such a positive affect on the human mind.

When you throw on your Richard Simmons sparkly shorts and jazzercise around your living room, your body releases an opiate called endorphins. Edorphins act as neurotransmitters; they transfer signals from cell to cell in the body. What endorphins say to your  nerve cells is something along the lines of “WOO-HOO!!!” (Think kid in a candy store type feelings). Your body releases endorphins during times of stress, pain, danger, excitement, and even in sex.  During a vigorous work-out, your brain releases endorphins to your nerve cells, which gives your body an overall feel-good sensation.

One source declares that exercise increases frontal lobe function as well as the activity of the hippocampus, which is a part of the brain that regulates emotion. While researchers are not quite sure why this happens, they’re happy about it anyways (literally).

In a study of mammals, researchers found that when exercise increased, so did levels of serotonin, dopamine ,and norepinephrine in the brain. Anti-depressants regulate the serotonin levels in the body, with the goal of making patients feel better. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that lives in the precortex of the brain. Dopamine affects cognition and behavior, and is associated with feelings of sexual gratification.

Listen, no one here is saying intercourse isn’t a great workout method. It will probably better your mood because of the visual pleasures, but pumping iron and hitting the gym have the same effects (come on, you can stop winking at your partner now). Norepinephrine is also referred to as noraddrenaline , so you can assume the affects this hormone can have on your body. Norepinephrine is a hormone relative to stress, when released increases heart rate and blood pressure. Norepinephrine has a very similar affect to adrenaline, as it gives humans a rush of sensations.

Dr. Blumenthal of Duke University did a little research on the actual chemical effects on the human mind as a result of regular exercise. In this study surveying 156 men and women, the subjects either received the anti-depressant Zoloft, or were given an exercise routine to follow.

“The data on exercise and mood have gotten even stronger.  One of the most telling studies was reported recently, in which an exercise program was equal in benefit to routine doses of Zoloft, a common antidepressant.The Zoloft and the exercise program were tapered off after 4 months; then the researchers tested the participants again, about 8 months after the treatments were stopped.  At that point, the exercise group was doing better than the group that had received Zoloft. Exercise appears to affect brain chemistry and brain cells in much the same way, perhaps exactly the same way, as antidepressant medications”

This data found that in older adults, exercise could be JUST AS effective in the treatment of depression as the highly prescribed anti depressant drug Zoloft! This research shows that you don’t have to pop pills to be happy- you could instead pump iron!
Exercise can also simply give a person peace of mind. Even the most stressed person in the world has to put their obnoxious boss or nagging mother-in-law out of mind to fully commit themselves in a Zumba routine. Exercise forces a person to put their worries out-of-mind for the time being, which can act as a type of therapy for some. Working out gives people confidence through changing their body shape or through pride by getting themselves to go to the gym at all. Regular athletic activity can , over time, reduce or completely eliminate anxiety issues. It is clear that taking care of your body can have a significant influence on the emotional state of your mind.


The mind- body connection works in both ways. When your body is feeling bad, you can work out to make your body and mind feel good again. When your mind is going through a trial of ‘the blues’ and you don’t take action, your body can take a toll. Worry and tension in life is inevitable , so when unexpected stressors like losing your job, or even a break up can bring on some pretty strong emotions. Your emotions can have a very damaging affect on your body dependant on the severity. According to a source, a bad mood can give a person back pain, chest pain, headaches, high blood pressure, and (here’s the kicker) sexual problems.

Our source also says that your mental health can have an influence on your overall health as well, as your immune system may suffer as a result of personal neglect.

“Poor emotional health can weaken your body’s immune system, making you more likely to get colds and other infections during emotionally difficult times. Also, when you are feeling stressed, anxious or upset, you may not take care of your health as well as you should. You may not feel like exercising, eating nutritious foods or taking medicine that your doctor prescribes. Abuse of alcohol, tobacco or other drugs may also be a sign of poor emotional health.” FamilyDoctor.org

An unhealthy mind can mean a pained body. Strong, negative emotions can not only leave the mind in turmoil, but a laundry list of physical ailments can arise as a result of depression.

Get it? It’s Brain from Pinky and the Brain… and he’s sad

It is obvious that working out has positive affects on the health of your body. In research we found earlier this week, we found that working out can aid your brain health and make you smarter. Today we’ve discovered that exercise can also increase your mood by giving your brain a boost of happy juice! So dig through your mom’s collection of Body Electric work out tapes, pump the speakers with Kenny Loggin’s Footloose, and get up in the gym workin’ on your fitness, Fergalicious, cause it turns out pumping that iron can do more for you than land you that date with the chick on the elliptical.

How does Exercise Improve Mental Health?
Depression and anxiety: exercise eases symptoms
Mind/Body Connection: How your emotions affect your health
Effects of exercise training on older patients with major depression
Exercise and mood: not the usual rap