Corporate Fitness and Active Aging

Dylan Ricker

Recent Posts by Dylan Ricker:

Being Mindful of Your Time, Scheduling for Success

GettyImages-1091264670Sometimes it’s hard to juggle all the daily responsibilities in life. Balancing work responsibilities can be difficult enough but trying to also maintain a social life at the same time can feel impossible. Being able to manage your time can be invaluable in many ways. There many benefits of having time management skills and having the right strategies can improve your skills. 

To start, time management is a process in which you plan and control the amount of time dedicated to certain tasks. This will in turn boost your efficiency, effectiveness, and productivity during the day. Controlling your time will allow you to become better at organizing and in turn will help you control your time both personally and professionally. Having the necessary skills to manage your time has different benefits for people, including:

  • Increased time for self
  • Improved feeling of accomplishment
  • Improved self esteem
  • Increased satisfaction in life

The more you can limit work stress and the more time you spend on yourself, the happier you will be. So how do we improve our time management skills? Here are some strategies you can implement:

  1. Know How You Spend Your Time: Making a time log of what you do during a day can help determine how you are already using your time. Over the span of a week or two, record everything you did in a 15-30 minute interval. Evaluate how you used that time. What time of the day are you most motivated? What tasks took the most time? Where do you value your time the most? Reflect on if you’re investing your time wisely, or if you need to reinvest time in other things.
  2. Set Priorities: Distinguishing what is urgent and what is important determines whether you’re managing your time effectively. Some of the most important tasks are not the urgent tasks, but that does not mean that you should let the urgent tasks control your life. Determining what tasks must be done can help you gain control of your life while reducing the amount of tasks that may become urgent.
  3. Use a Planning Tool: Utilizing a planning tool can increase your productivity. Writing down  tasks, making notes on your schedule, and jotting down items to remember can free up brain space to focus on other, more important tasks. Review your calendar daily, synchronize your apps if you use two different types of planning tools, and always have a backup. Some examples of a planning tool: Time Trackers, Time Savers, Calendars, Task Managers, Habit Developers, etc.  
  4. Get Organized: You can’t manage your time if you’re disorganized, and research has shown that clutter has a  negative impact on perceived well-being.
  5. Stop Multi-Tasking: Humans in general are not efficient at multi-tasking. Studies show that multi-tasking doesn’t save time or increase efficiency. In fact, it does the opposite. Routine multi-tasking may lead to difficulty concentrating and maintaining focus.

Time management is a skill that can be vital to one’s success. What are some other strategies that you have found to help manage your time?

 

Topics: success corporate wellness success mindfulness

The Impact of Physical Activity on Mood

GettyImages-1073381110The impact of physical activity on mood has been researched over the last few decades. There has been speculation that an increase in physical activity can provide a substantial positive impact on one’s mood, but to what extent? Let’s dive into the known relationship between physical activity and mood, how much of an effect physical activity can have, and finally will provide a few brief explanations over the mechanisms of which physical activity increases mood!

Multiple studies have shown clear consensus for the benefits that physical activity has on the symptoms of depression and anxiety. It has been shown that the increase levels of physical activity and exercise are inversely correlated with depression levels. Exercise is also being shown to improve other quality of life indicators for individuals such as improvement in self-esteem, vitality, general well-being, and satisfaction with physical appearance.

There has been a lot of speculation from the actual significance that physical activity has on mood. Physical activity has had similar effects on depression symptoms as compared to those of antidepressant medications. Even maintaining this “antidepressant’ effect that can outlast the exercise period. These findings can have a beneficial impact on even people that are not suffering from clinical levels of depression. In terms of what facet of fitness has an impact on mood, both aerobic and anaerobic methods of exercise have shown an immensely beneficial impact. Moderate-intensity aerobic exercise programs (where roughly 65% of a persons VO2 Max is reached) showed improvements in behavioral, mood, and anxiety responses. However, strength (anaerobic) training at low to moderate intensities produced the most reliable and robust decrease in improvements!

Now that I have shown the benefits of exercise, let me explain some of the mechanisms that can cause this improvement in mood. There are two different complex biological mechanisms that occur in your body that may explain the boost in mood with regards to exercise. Firstly, it may be due to a response within the body that has to do with inflammation. Physical activity and exercise reduce chronic inflammation in the body, which is then joined by a lower expression and usage of tryptophan. This limited usage of tryptophan will lead to accumulation, which then results in additional tryptophan being within the bloodstream for your central nervous system. Tryptophan has two major jobs for us in this case: it aids in the biosynthesis (creation) of serotonin, and it also seems to aid in the transmission of serotonin across the blood-brain barrier. As more tryptophan crosses the blood-brain barrier, consequently higher serotonin concentrations are found in the brain as well.

Another possible biological explanation is the endorphin perspective that physical activity and exercise can play on mood. Endorphins are produced by the hypothalamus and pituitary glands during strenuous exercise. They often resemble opiates in their ability to produce euphoria and analgesia. Exercise elicits the secretion of these endorphins in the brain reducing pain and cause general euphoria. Which then later, these same endorphins may reduce anxiety and depression levels.

Have you found that regular exercise affects your mood? Share below!

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Topics: physical activity exercise and health mental health