Show Notes for Episode 4

Bess did a lot of research on exercise exercise for episode 4, consulting various articles and journals, which she compiled and shared for us in the document below:

HOW OFTEN DO COLLEGE STUDENTS EXERCISE?

  • College Students Do Not Get Enough Exercise
    • According to these recommendations, the majority of college students are not getting the exercise they need to stay healthy. In the fall 2009 National College Health Assessment, the American College Health Association reported that 43.6 percent of students met the recommendations for moderate or vigorous exercise, or a combination of both. More male students, 50.4 percent, than females, 39.9 percent, met these recommendations.
  • Exercise and Diet in College
    • According to the University of Pittsburgh’s Student Health Service, a survey of 302 college students at a large university revealed that only 39 percent exercised three or more times per week
  • Study Finds Drop in Students Exercise Habits After High School (2016)
    • Mannheim Institute of Public Health, Social and Preventive Medicine surveyed 689 college students for the study, published in the September issue of “Science and Sports.” The researchers found that the proportion of students who reported decreased physical activity was significantly higher among those in their first through third semesters of college than students who had been in college longer
  • College Kids Need to Change Unhealthy Ways (2014)
    • More than 60 percent [of college students] report not getting enough physical activity (three or more days of vigorous exercise for at least 20 minutes or five or more days of moderate exercise for at least 30 minutes a week).

HEALTHY EFFECTS OF EXERCISE

  • Dancing and Alzheimer’s
    • Results reveal that higher cardiorespiratory fitness levels (VO2 max) are associated with larger hippocampal volumes in late adulthood, and that larger hippocampal volumes may, in turn, contribute to better memory function
    • Still there is compelling evidence that the human brain undergoes morphological alterations in response to motor-skill learning (Draganski et al., 2004; Boyke et al., 2008; Taubert et al., 2010; Sehm et al., 2014)
    • 6 weeks of balance training induced increases in the gray matter of the left HC in healthy seniors
  • How Exercise Can Help us Learn
    • Exercising before learning is really good for the brain!
    • “Light-intensity exercise will elicit low but noticeable levels of physiological arousal, she said, which, in turn, presumably help to prime the brain for the intake of new information and the encoding of that information into memories. If the exercise is more vigorous, however, it may overstimulate the body and brain, she said, monopolizing more of the brain’s attentional resources and leaving fewer for the creation of robust memories.”
    • Memory recall best a day or two after exercise
  • Build Your Muscles, Build Your Brain
    • It optimizes your mindset, by improving alertness, attention, and motivation. It prepares and encourages nerve cells to bind to one another, which is the cellular basis for learning new information. And it spurs the development of new nerve cells from stem cells in the hippocampus, an area of the brain related to memory and learning.”
    • “working out before class boosts a child’s reading ability and her performance in other subjects”
    • “As the stories of BDNF and exercise developed together, it became clear that the molecule was important not merely for the survival of neurons but also for their growth (sprouting new branches) and, thus, for learning”
      • brain-derived neurotrophic factor
      • Build and maintain infrastructure in the brain
      • BDNF is present in the hippocampus, the area of the brain related to memory and learning
  • ADHD and Exercise
    • regular physical activity decreased the severity of ADHD symptoms and improved cognitive functioning in children”
  • Exercise and ADHD: Mental Floss for your Brain
    • Physical activities that involve coordination, and complex movements — such as martial arts, dance, and basketball — cause connections to form between neurons in the cerebellum. That’s the region of the brain that controls, among other things, our social interactions.”
  • How Physical Exercise Makes your Brain Work Better
    • exercise can help you focus and stay on task.”
    • Can improve your mental health
    • Enhance your creativity
    • Slow cognitive decline
  • The Exercise Effect
    • “But the effects of physical activity extend beyond the short-term. Research shows that exercise can also help alleviate long-term depression.”
      • From experimental tests
      • “Blumenthal has explored the mood-exercise connection through a series of randomized controlled trials. In one such study, he and his colleagues assigned sedentary adults with major depressive disorder to one of four groups: supervised exercise, home-based exercise, antidepressant therapy or a placebo pill. After four months of treatment, Blumenthal found, patients in the exercise and antidepressant groups had higher rates of remission than did the patients on the placebo. Exercise, he concluded, was generally comparable to antidepressants for patients with major depressive disorder”
        • “subjects who reported regular exercise at the one-year follow-up had lower depression scores than did their less active counterparts”
    • Effects on anxiety too
      • “They tested their theory among 60 volunteers with heightened sensitivity to anxiety. Subjects who participated in a two-week exercise program showed significant improvements in anxiety sensitivity compared with a control group (“
      • “In another study, Smits and his colleagues asked volunteers with varying levels of anxiety sensitivity to undergo a carbon-dioxide challenge test, in which they breathed CO2-enriched air. The test often triggers the same symptoms one might experience during a panic attack: increased heart and respiratory rates, dry mouth and dizziness. Unsurprisingly, people with high anxiety sensitivity were more likely to panic in response to the test. But Smits discovered that people with high anxiety sensitivity who also reported high activity levels were less likely to panic than subjects who exercised infrequently” suggesting that exercise could help with anxiety attacks
  • The Mental Health Effects of Exercise
    • Exercise and depression
      • “Studies show that exercise can treat mild to moderate depression as effectively as antidepressant medication—but without the side-effects, of course. In addition to relieving depression symptoms, research also shows that maintaining an exercise schedule can prevent you from relapsing.”
    • Exercise and anxiety
      • “relieves tension and stress, boosts physical and mental energy, and enhances well-being through the release of endorphins.”
    • Exercise and stress
      • “As well as releasing endorphins in the brain, physical activity helps to relax the muscles and relieve tension in the body”
    • Exercise and ADHD
      • “Physical activity immediately boosts the brain’s dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin levels—all of which affect focus and attention.”
    • Exercise and PTSD/trauma
      • “by really focusing on your body and how it feels as you exercise, you can actually help your nervous system become “unstuck” and begin to move out of the immobilization stress response that characterizes PTSD or trauma.”
    • Sharper memory and thinking
      • The same endorphins that make you feel better also help you concentrate and feel mentally sharp for tasks at hand. Exercise also stimulates the growth of new brain cells and helps prevent age-related decline.
    • Higher self-esteem
      • When it becomes habit, it can foster your sense of self-worth and make you feel strong and powerful
    • Better sleep
    • More energy
    • Stronger resilience
      • Exercise can help you cope in a healthy way. Regular exercise can also help boost your immune system and reduce the impact of stress.
  • Exercise for Mental Health
    • “Aerobic exercises, including jogging, swimming, cycling, walking, gardening, and dancing, have been proved to reduce anxiety and depression.3 These improvements in mood are proposed to be caused by exercise-induced increase in blood circulation to the brain and by an influence on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and, thus, on the physiologic reactivity to stress”
    • “Health benefits from regular exercise that should be emphasized and reinforced by every mental health professional to their patients include the following: Improved sleep, Increased interest in sex, Better endurance, Stress relief, Improvement in mood, Increased energy and stamina, Reduced tiredness that can increase mental alertness, Weight reduction, Reduced cholesterol and improved cardiovascular fitness”
  • Physical Activity Impacts Overall Quality of Sleep
    • “A nationally representative sample of more than 2,600 men and women, ages 18-85, found that 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity a week, which is the national guideline, provided a 65 percent improvement in sleep quality. People also said they felt less sleepy during the day, compared to those with less physical activity.”
  • How Does Exercise Help Those with Chronic Insomnia
    • Effects on insomnia
    • “Of the handful of studies that have been performed, they suggest that exercise significantly improves the sleep of people with chronic insomnia. The only study that looked at the effects of a single exercise session found that a bout of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise (e.g., walking) reduced the time it took to fall asleep and increased the length of sleep of people with chronic insomnia compared to a night in which they did not exercise. However, in the same study, vigorous aerobic exercise (e.g., running) or lifting weights did not improve sleep. Similar results have been found for studies that examined the effects of long-term exercise on sleep in adults with insomnia. In these studies, after 4 to 24 weeks of exercise, adults with insomnia fell asleep more quickly, slept slightly longer, and had better sleep quality than before they began exercising.”
  • https://www.forbes.com/sites/alicegwalton/2017/05/23/6-ways-exercise-benefits-the-body-and-brain/#3963fec02503
    • Reduces inflamation
      • reduce a number of inflammatory markers, like c-reactive protein (CRP) and internleukin-6 (IL-6), which are linked to a number of diseases.
      • “The anti-inflammatory effects of exercise are likely one of the underpinnings of its effects against cardiovascular disease, diabetes, certain cancers, neurodegenerative conditions and more”
      • “They measured levels of TNF, an inflammatory marker, before and after the exercise, and found that there was a 5% reduction in the number of immune cells that produced the marker.”
    • Reduces risk of heart attack and stroke
    • Triggers growth of new brain cells
      • “And what seems to spur the growth of new neurons, perhaps above other activities, is aerobic exercise.”

 

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