Westside Eagle-Observer

Don’t discount the power of a pep talk

- Siloam Springs Regional Hospital

If you’re active, you already know that pushing your body to new goals can be uncomforta­ble. If only you had someone around to talk you through it, right?

Good news — that someone could be you.

A study published in the journal The Sport Psychologi­st looked at ultramarat­hon runners, who run distances longer than the standard 26.2-mile marathon. Some of the athletes took a motivation­al self-talk class while others did not. Although there was little difference in race results, the self-talk group reported the additional training helped them get through the race.

Talking the talk

The U.S. Department of Defense says self-talk phrases build confidence, reduce nervousnes­s and improve mood — all of which can help you overcome the intimidati­on of an intense workout. For example:

• “I can do this” or “Let’s go” builds energy and prepares you for what’s to follow.

• “Take a deep breath” reminds you to breathe properly.

• “I’m OK” helps you remain calm and alleviate stress.

• Repeating “Focus” helps you concentrat­e on the task at hand.

Talking to yourself may be awkward at first, but remember that elite athletes and trained soldiers are using the same technique to boost their motivation and performanc­e. If it works for them, it may be worth a try.

Your mind on exercise

If you’ve ever felt happier after taking a walk on a sunny day or felt relaxed and ready to tackle the workday after a morning spin class, you likely know exercise can positively affect your mood. Still, you may not realize just how powerful the connection is.

Cardiovasc­ular exercise can help lower stress levels, as well as ease anger and the symptoms of depression and anxiety. The American College of Sports Medicine notes that exercise affects certain neurotrans­mitters in the brain, similar to how an antidepres­sant works.

Exercise doesn’t just affect your mood — it may also improve your memory. A January 2018 review published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society found that aerobic exercise may help delay the progressio­n of Alzheimer’s disease and improve cognitive function. To conduct their review, researcher­s assessed the results of 19 studies that lasted between eight weeks and six months.

They found that older adults with or at risk for Alzheimer’s disease who exercised an average of 30 to 60 minutes at least 3.5 days a week scored 69 percent higher on cognitive function tests at the end of the study periods than those who did not exercise.

Siloam Springs Internal Medicine offers comprehens­ive care, from routine and preventive health services to special needs. Helping you to maintain good health and wellness — for a lifetime — is our primary goal. Call 479-215-3070 today to schedule an appointmen­t or visit NW-Physicians.com.

About Siloam Springs Regional Hospital

Siloam Springs Regional Hospital (SSRH) is a licensed 73-bed facility with 42 private patient rooms. It is accredited by the State of Arkansas Department of Health Services and The Joint Commission. Some services include inpatient and outpatient surgery, emergency medicine, medical, surgical and intensive care units, obstetrics, outpatient diagnostic services and inpatient and outpatient rehabilita­tion. With more than 50 physicians on the medical staff, Siloam Springs Regional Hospital provides compassion­ate, customer-focused care. SSRH is an affiliate of Northwest Health, the largest health system in Northwest Arkansas. Siloam Springs Regional Hospital is located at 603 N. Progress Ave. in Siloam Springs. For more informatio­n, visit NorthwestH­ealth.com.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States