Mental Health: Yet Another Reason to Get Fit

Covid-19 and the increase of Mental Health problems are a real serious problem. We all know physical activity boosts your mood and makes you feel great physically but also mentally. So thankful we can keep our community strong and healthy during this time.

Whether you want to get fit to lose weight, build muscle, keep your bones and joints strong, strengthen your heart and lungs, or support your immune system, it goes without saying being fit is good for your physical health. Your have probably known this for most of your life, and there are reams of studies to back up the latter claims.

But you’re so much more than just your physical body. I’m talking about your brain, your mind, your emotional state, your happiness.

We all should be aware of our mental health an how it can fluctuate depending on our current life circumstances. And the truth is, working out and sweating—not to mention generally feeling more physically capable and fit for whatever life throws at us—makes people happier. Period.

I am in no way suggesting that being fit cures severe mental illness, but the benefits can be significant. In fact, studies have shown working out can produce the same positive effects as taking an antidepressant.

Take 21-year-old Miranda from Ontario, Canada, for example. She suffers from anxiety and depression, but says working out helps her emotional state tremendously.

“A lot of people who have anxiety like to isolate themselves, so it’s really good to put yourself in a healthy, social situation like the gym,” Miranda said. “Generally after the gym, I always feel relieved. It’s a huge stress reliever for me, especially if I’m feeling anxious.”

She added: “It really contributes to my life emotionally. I get to sweat out any anger or stress I’m feeling, and instead of taking it out on my mom and getting into a huge argument, I sweat it out at the gym. Whenever I leave, I always feel better. I never feel super depressed after a workout and I usually get in the car or walk home feeling happy.”

Of course, getting fit isn’t the only “natural” way to improve your mental health. 

Here are 5 others to consider:

  1. Eat well: Healthy eating goes a long way to improved mental health. Staying away from processed foods should be a priority, as well as refined sugars, which have been linked to depression. Meanwhile other studies that have shown an elevated risk of depression in those with a low intake of fish, fruits and vegetables. Omega 3 fatty acids in fish are known to  contribute to elevated moods, and also to improved cognition.
  2. Check your vitamin intake: Nutritional deficiencies—particularly deficiencies in folic acid, thiamine and magnesium, have also been linked to depression. If you’re concerned, get some blood work done. Supplementation of Vitamin D (aka the ‘sunshine vitamin’) and possibly B vitamins can be useful, too—they have been shown to improve mood and decrease anxiety. (The B vitamin Inositol has been shown to be as effective as an anti-anxiety medication).
  3. Keep in touch with friends: This one should be obvious, but all too often we get busy with our lives (or the lives of our family members) and we neglect the importance of the meaningful friendships in our lives. The benefits of close friendships cannot be overstated. Having people who we can be open with about our feelings, and about life’s ups and downs, successes and hardships, is vitally important to our mental health. People with strong social connections, quite simply, are healthier than those who lack a support network.
  4. Deep breathing, meditation, prayer: To help promote relaxation, reduce stress and improve sleep, it’s smart to develop a deep breathing practice. Breathe in deeply through the nose (stimulating your parasympathetic nervous system), and exhale through the mouth. Meditation, meanwhile, can help quiet the mind and produce a sense of calm. Mindfulness meditation is one of the best ways to slow down an overactive mind and instead focus on the present. It could be argued that much of the emotional turmoil we experience is the result of thinking about the past and/or worrying about the future. Mindfulness meditation brings us back to the present and teaches us to tune into our bodies and our senses.
  5. 5Volunteer: One of the best ways to let go of our own stresses and/or negative life circumstances is to put our focus on others. Helping others can give us perspective.

SW Active – Nov. 11

Wednesday – Fsq Int + % + MWG Chipper
A. Front Squat, work to a tough set of 2
B. Front Squat, 2 reps @ 85-90% of A x 3 sets, 3 min
C. Prep/Set-Up
D. “Acid Bath” For Time:
500m Ski Erg
500m Rowing
1,000m Bike Erg


*we will wave and sanitize machines for bigger classes
*watch the buttery bros complete for your entertainment – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HiWr-fXLe7Q*also this is an event made world famous from the Dubai Fitness championships – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=clYarfcAEsw

SW Active – Nov. 10

Tuesday – MAP 30/30 + MAP 60/60 + MAP 90/90
A. Warm-Up/Prep – get aerobic system ready
B. EMOM until failure:
1st – 1 Burpee on to plate
2nd – 2 Burpee on to plate
3rd – 3 Burpee onto plate
4th – etc…
*retest/check your old score
*can jump or step-up on plate – use 45lb plate
+
Rest as needed
+
C. EMOM x 15 minutes @ moderate/cool-down
1st – 45 sec Row
2nd – 45 sec Bike or Ski
3rd – 45 sec Front Bridge

SW Active – Nov. 9

Wk 4/4 – Nov. 9
Monday – Sn Int/Varied + Back off + Upper Int/Varied + Gym EMOM
A. Squat Snatch, 1 tough rep x 5-10 sets, rest as needed – working to a heavy single

B. Above Knee Hang Squat Snatch, 1 rep @ moderate every 20 sec x 5 minutes
C. 10 min AMRAP Strict Pronated Pullup *for clients that can do strict pullups
C. EMOM x 10 minutes *for clients working towards them
1st – 30 sec Strict Pullup Progression work (prescribe appropriate work here for people)
2nd – 30 sec Heavy Farmer Hold

D. 10 min AMRAP
10 V-Ups
5 HSPU or 5 Pushups
10 V-Ups
1 Rope Climb or 5 Ring Rows

SW Active – Nov. 7


Saturday – Nov. 7
A. 3 sets @ increasing effort per set
500m Rowing or Ski Erg
10 L arm Hang DB Power Snatch @ 35/50lbs
10 R arm Hang DB Power Snatch @ 35/50lbs
2 min Recovery
*1st set @ 75%
*every set faster
*last set fast
B. 3 sets @ increasing effort per set
.8 mile AirBike/1,000m Bike Erg
10 L arm DB Push Jerks @ 35/50lbs
10 R arm DB Push Jerks @ 35/50lbs
2 min Recovery
*1st set @ 75%
*every set faster
*last set fast
C. EMOM x 10 minutes
1st – 30 sec Russian KBS
2nd – 30 sec Anchored Sit-Ups

Sw Active – Nov. 6

Friday – DODL Int + 20 min Mixed + Upper Extra
A. Double Overhand No Hook Grip Deadlift @ 11×1, work to a challenging set of 2
B. Prep/Set-Up
C. 20 min AMRAP
2,000m Rowing
100 Burpees – no jump @ top
AMRAP Double Unders in time remaining
*refer back to Wk of March. 11/2019
*last time Monica Lesy told me “Nathan, I dont even need to bring my skipping rope out” – lol

Nov. 5

Thursday – Cj Int/Varied + Back off + Upper Int/Varied + Gym EMOM
A. Squat Clean Thruster. Push Jerk. Split Jerk 1.1.1 – work to a challenging set
B. Squat Clean Thruster. Push Jerk. Split Jerk 1.1.1 @ 85-90% of A x 5 sets, rest as needed
C1. Ring Dip/Horizontal Pushing Variation x 3 sets, 1 min – slight tougher variation of last week
C2. Pendlay Row Cluster @ 40×1, 3.3.3 x 3 sets, 1 min
D. EMOM x 9 minutes
1st – 30 sec Hollow Arch Swings
2nd – 30 sec HS or Rope Climb or Core Work
3rd – 30 sec Skipping or DU’s

SW Active – Nov. 4/2020

Wednesday – Fsq Int + % + MWG Chipper
A. Front Squat, work to a tough set of 3
B. Front Squat, 3 reps @ 85-90% of A x 3 sets, 3 min
C. Prep/Set-Up
D. “Jackie” – For Time
1,000m Rowing
50 Thrusters @ 45lbs
30 Pullups
*refer back to workout notes on times/scaling options to see improvement progress

SW Active – Nov. 3


Tuesday – MAP 30/30 + MAP 60/60 + MAP 90/90
5 sets @ 85-90%
30 sec Wall Balls @ 15/20lbs to 9/10ft
30 sec rest
30 sec KBS @ 16/24kg
30 sec rest
+
Rest 2 min
+
2 sets @ 85-90%
20 sec DB Power Snatch @ 35/50
20 sec Goblet Squat @ 35/50
20 sec Single Arm Alternating Devils Press @ 35/50
60 sec rest
60 sec Erg
60 sec rest
20 sec L arm DB Thruster @ 35/50
20 sec Single Arm Alternating DB Power Clean @ 35/50 – from floor
20 sec R arm DB Thruster @ 35/50
60 sec rest
60 sec Erg
60 sec rest
+
Rest 2 min
+
@ 85-90%
30 sec DB Step-Over 20/24” Box @ 35/50 – 1 DB
60 sec Double Unders
90 sec rest
90 sec Erg
90 sec rest
30 sec DB Step-Over 20/24” Box @ 35/50 – 1 DB
60 sec Double Unders
90 sec rest
90 sec Erg

SW Active – Nov. 2


Wk 3/4 – Nov. 2
Monday – Sn Int/Varied + Back off + Upper Int/Varied + Gym EMOM
A. Segmented Snatch Pull. Paused Squat Snatch 1.1 – work to a challenging set
B. Segmented Snatch Pull. Paused Squat Snatch 1.1 @ 85-90% of A x 5 sets, rest as needed
C. Press work to a MAX
D. Press, AMRAP unbroken @ 65% of C x 1 set – can touch and go
E. EMOM x 12 minutes
1st – 6-8 L arm DB Row
2nd – 20-30 sec Toes to Bar Practice
3rd – 6-8 R arm DB Row
4th – 20-30 sec Toes to Bar Practice