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Is Exercise Making You Feel Worse?


I'm sure you've heard the following statement over and overagain: exercise can help you to beat stress, or alleviateanxiety or boost a depressed mind. This is only true inpart. Because many exercises can actually worsen theseillnesses. And even if you perform exercises that can help,these exercises will only help temporarily.

The reason many people believe exercise to be helpful incombating stressful and depressive illnesses is because whenyou exercise vigorously for longer than 20 minutes, yourbody floods with endorphins. These chemicals give us a buzz,and this is why it is widely believed that exercise can curestress, depression or anxiety.

If you're suffering a stressful or depressive episode,you'll know that no matter how regularly you exercise, thebad feelings return. The only way to beat these illnesses isto treat the root cause: flawed modes of thinking.Exercise, though great for our bodies, simply doesn't doanything to address modes of thinking.

When my anxiety was at it's worst back in 2000, I exercised4 times a week. For 2 days, I'd perform weight-trainingexercises. These exercises are the type of exercise that canactually make you feel worse because you have time to thinkabout all of the issues and problems you have in your lifeat the time. I'd also warm up and warm down on bike machinesor cross-trainers. Again, you can perform these exerciseseasily so you can think about your problems.

For my other workouts, I'd perform instructor-led circuittraining sessions. As you're listening out for instructionsand performing sequences of exercises at a high tempo, youdon't have time to dwell on your troubles and worries. Theproblem is that once you stop exercising, you return to themodes of thinking which lead to stress, depression oranxiety.

As soon as my workout had finished, I'd perform the flawedmodes of thinking, modes that made me anxious and depressed.Exercising did very little if anything to stop meperforming these flawed thought processes.

Do be aware of what's happening when you exercise. Exercisesthat don't require much concentration may have you broodingover your troubles as you perform them. Jogging, walking,exercise machines, weight-training are all examples of suchexercises. Instead, try ones that are more intensive orcompetitive so your whole concentration is required.Circuit-training worked for me, so did sports like soccerand badminton.

The idea is to give yourself a period of time where you'renot thinking about your problems and worries. And of course,you'll do your body a whole heap of good too!

The point here is to understand that exercise can onlyprovide temporary relief. The only way to find permanentrelief from your suffering is to understand and addressflawed modes of thinking. And, just as physical exercisebenefits our bodies, mental skills leading to better modesof thinking will bring enormous benefits to our minds.

The following quote sums it up in a nutshell:

"Thought can make you, thought can break you."- Swami Sukhabodhanada

Until next time.

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MORE RESOURCES:

TIME

Study: Exercise improves kids' brains
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A study at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, published in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, found that aerobic exercise has "a positive role in brain and cognitive health of children." Children who are in better shape, the ...
Exercise Makes Kids' Brains More EfficientTIME
Fitness May Boost Kids' BrainpowerWebMD
Physical Fitness Makes Your Brain Bigger; Scientists Say Exercise Grows 'White ...Medical Daily
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Regular exercise, including brisk walking, is associated with a decrease in the incidence of breast cancer in African American women. In a recently published study in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, researchers from Boston University's ...

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Boston.com

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Chad Finn is the sports media columnist for the Globe and writes the irreverent Touching All the Bases blog for Boston.com. A frequent panelist on Globe 10.0 and the Red Sox Podcast, he previously worked at the Concord Monitor in New Hampshire.



Exercise May Guard Against Irregular Heartbeat in Older Women
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WEDNESDAY, Aug. 20, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Regular exercise may help older women avoid a condition that causes a life-threatening irregular heartbeat, a new study shows. Physically active postmenopausal women had a 10 percent lower risk of ...
Exercise reduces risk of atrial fibrillationKABC-TV
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NDTV

Japan Just Held A First-Of-Its-Kind Live Fire Exercise On Mount Fuji [PHOTOS]
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In the shadow of rising tensions in the East China Sea, Japan is holding live fire exercise in the foothills of Mount Fuji until Sunday. Japan has held annual military exercises aimed at protecting its northern territories along its maritime frontier ...
Japan military holds drill as its role expandsDanbury News Times

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Exercise important to help kids build strong bones
KOMO News
And that's important because it's harder to rebuild bone as we get older. You don't have to life weights to strengthen your bones – hiking, walking briskly, yoga, dancing, and racquet sports (like tennis and squash) are all weight bearing exercises ...



SWAT team performs training exercise at downtown Ann Arbor courthouse
MLive.com
The Washtenaw County Metro SWAT team and the county sheriff's office conducted a regular training exercise at the Washtenaw County Trial Court Wednesday morning, catching eyes with the mine-resistant vehicle parked on Fourth Avenue. The regular ...

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Daily Mail

The teens so addicted to exercise they're wrecking their health: Obsession ...
Daily Mail
'I enjoy exercise and still worry about what will happen if I can't do it,' she says. 'I get anxious and irritable if I get an injury and try to find something else active to do instead. But I am much more in control and can miss a day or two without ...



The Epoch Times

Is It Better to Exercise or Rest When You're Sick?
The Epoch Times
If you have enough energy to tolerate it, increasing your body temperature by sweating from exercise will actually help to kill many viruses. In fact, according to research, exercising with a cold may be well advised. At the end of one 10-day trial ...



Fort Drum To Hold Emergency Exercise
WWNY TV 7
Fort Drum officials say the 10th Mountain Division and local emergency response agencies will be conducting a mass casualty exercise Wednesday. Emergency personnel from neighboring Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties will participate in the drill.
Fort Drum, 2 counties holding emergency exerciseWPTZ The Champlain Valley
Military officials and local first responders to hold mass casualty exercise ...CNYcentral.com

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