Body & health

Is ex­er­cise the new ther­apy of choice? We can to­tally get be­hind that!

Glamour (South Africa) - - News -

Is ex­er­cise the new ther­apy? And, do you buchu?

is it just us, or is the sun in per­ma­nent re­treat th­ese days? From pol­i­tics to TV shows, even lit­tle things we used to love now seem to have an anx­ious, apoc­a­lyp­tic tinge to them. Per­haps that’s why more and more peo­ple are grav­i­tat­ing to­ward the gym, where the lat­est crazes have less to do with fix­ing your body than with clear­ing your mind.

“Sci­en­tific ev­i­dence sup­ports that reg­u­lar car­dio­vas­cu­lar ex­er­cise like run­ning, swim­ming and cy­cling, has been shown to be as ef­fec­tive in the treat­ment of mild to mod­er­ate de­pres­sion and anx­i­ety as anti-de­pres­sant med­i­ca­tion,” says Dr Leigh Gor­don, a sports physi­cian at the Sports Sci­ence In­sti­tute of South Africa.

Celeb fit­ness pro Ni­cole Win­hof­fer has earned the hash­tag #Nwchurch for classes with a con­fes­sional, mo­ti­va­tional style and end-of-ses­sion ser­mons. “Lis­ten to your in­tu­ition,” she said, af­ter two hours of a ton­ing and car­dio dance. “If some­thing doesn’t feel right, it prob­a­bly isn’t.”

In Ni­cole’s classes, the in­struc­tor is as vul­ner­a­ble as the stu­dents, open­ing up the floor for hon­est con­ver­sa­tions and in­tense work­outs.

Then there’s An­gela Manuel-davis, a Soul­cy­cle in­struc­tor known for her non­stop en­ergy and mantras, like “Your strug­gle in­tro­duces you to your strength.” With her in­tense train­ing and im­pas­sioned voice, it’s no won­der pow­er­houses like Oprah are fans.

“When we are phys­i­cally chal­lenged, we are be­ing emo­tion­ally cracked open at the same time,” she says. “At those times, en­cour­age­ment, re­in­force­ment, in­spi­ra­tion and love can be poured in.”

Ni­cole and An­gela are two of the best at pack­ing mantras into their meth­ods, but they’re hardly the first. “This idea that you can mix con­tem­pla­tive tra­di­tions with move­ment goes back thou­sands of years. Med­i­ta­tive prac­tices like yoga and tai chi in­clude as­pects of both,” says Dr Bran­don Al­der­man, an as­so­ciate pro­fes­sor of ki­ne­si­ol­ogy and health.

Dr Al­der­man is cur­rently lead­ing a study on med­i­ta­tion and run­ning as a way to treat de­pres­sion. “En­gag­ing in med­i­ta­tion may boost the ben­e­fits of ex­er­cise. Though we’re just begin­ning to study the re­la­tion­ship be­tween the two, I sus­pect that if med­i­ta­tive prac­tices en­hance the over­all ex­pe­ri­ence of ex­er­cise, it may also motivate peo­ple to be more ac­tive.”

If there’s one thing we could all use more of right now, it’s a lit­tle pos­i­tive re­in­force­ment.

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