#HerFirst 2.1 Your Food, Your Mood & How You Move Part 3

Pilates, Exercise, Medicine

Breaking down the confusion and myths around Mental Health, Nutrition and Exercise

Part 3 – How You Move

Nick Bray, PhD Candidate

Most of us are on a pursuit for an ideal body. The idea of perfection we hold in our head. We also need to keep in mind that genetics plays a major roll in how our body looks. There are some factors out of our control that determine our natural weight and body shape. This does not mean you should throw in the towel and give up. What this means is that a healthy body comes in many forms. You can improve your health by eating mindfully, managing your stress and exercising.

Nick Bray is a Ph.D. Candidate in the school of Kinesiology at Western University. His area of focus is on exercise as medicine. More specifically the research he is currently doing focuses on the association between dynapenia (age-related loss of strength) and brain health, and their independent and combined relationship with changes in walking pattern, as well as how all these factors can be positively impacted by exercise.

We all know that exercise has health benefits. Regular exercise has been proven to reduce your risk of many diseases and conditions. Such as; heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, and premature death. Unfortunately exercise has been lumped in with weight loss. Weight loss is defiantly a bi-product of exercise, but we would argue, it should not be your main focus. Your physical and mental health should be the priority.

150 Minutes of Exercise WEEKLY

According to the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines, adults aged 18-64 should accumulate at least 150 minutes weekly of moderate to vigorous- intensity physical activity, in bouts of 10 minutes or more. Ten minutes seems achievable, you could take that time during your lunch break and go for a brisk walk, or climb the stairs in your office building. Then on the weekend get in your remaining 90 minutes. Your goal is to get your heart rate up, break a sweat and breath harder to ‘out of breath’.

For some the need to move and exercise comes naturally. To others the idea of giving up part of your lunch break to sweat can feel stressful. The key is to find an activity that you enjoy doing. Figure out what are the barriers that keep you from exercising and how to hurdle over them. Group classes can be a great solution. They provide a social aspect and can be a lot of fun. 150 minutes would equate to two and a half group classes. So at 3 classes a week, you are just over the minimum. Nick also recommends one – on – one coaching/private sessions to help build your exercise habit. When you are accountable you are more likely to achieve your goals. When you work with an instructor directly, you have to book the time and make room in your schedule. Someone is expecting you.

Those people who workout regularly without effort or thought will tell you they feel better when they exercise. Your energy improves as well as your mood. In the wise words of Elle Woods from Legally Blonde; “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands, they just don’t.” Just think of all the lives that have been saved by exercise!

Nick is currently looking for seniors, over 60 years of age to help with his research. He is looking for individuals who are not currently active. If you are interested in participating place contact;