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Exercise has long been regarded as a natural mood booster that can release physical tension, relieve stress and produce endorphins. But the benefits of exercise aren’t always enough motivation for people to work out regularly.

As it turns out, starting slow with just small amounts of exercise or physical activity has more benefits than you might think.

A recent UK study found that even minimal amounts of physical activity can have a mood-boosting effect, regardless of how happy a person is already — and even if it’s not technically considered “exercise.”

In the largest ever smartphone-based study to explore the link between physical activity and happiness, researchers examined data collected from over 10,000 participants. These individuals used an Android tracking app to passively track their physical activity via smartphone accelerometers. The app also prompted participants to report their mood levels at two different times throughout the day.

Data from physical activity could be tracked in real-time, which helped take out the self-reporting problem that comes with trying to remember all the movement an individual actually did that day — whether it was a short walk through the parking lot, or a strenuous weight session at the gym.

The only self-reported component included the mood and emotional data, which participants submitted by using a four-quadrant positive/negative grid within the app.

By analyzing this information, the researchers found that even slight physical activity — such as walking around casually — was enough to help increase participants’ mood states, regardless of their baseline happiness level. Overall, however, happy people tended to be more active.

The researchers note that while previous research has looked at the relationship between exercise and happiness with mixed results, most of those studies involved small sample sizes and relied on self-reported physical activity data collected only at specific time periods.

The activity data from this particular study, which was passively tracked throughout the day, could provide averages for each day and participant, which gave researchers the ability to see higher emotional states on days of higher physical activity.

So even if you can’t afford a gym membership or find the time in your busy schedule to work out at home, you may at least be able to get some mood-boosting effects just by focusing on moving your body more throughout the day — wherever you may be.

You could simply try to do a few exercises at your desk during breaks at work, incorporate some office-friendly yoga poses into your day or consider making your walking more effective as you wander around indoors and outdoors.

Making these types of movement a regular habit will bring about physical health benefits too. Take any chance you get to move a little! It really does add up, and these strategies may well serve as the starting point for a more official exercise habit.

SOURCE: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/even-small-amounts-of-physical-activity-can-make-people-happier.html

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Practice Policy Update Regarding COVID-19

Dear Patients:

Our patients, employees and family are our top priority at Long Island Spine Specialists, P.C.

We ask you to not visit any of our locations if you have symptoms such as fever, sneezing, coughing and possible shortness of breath.

Please cancel your appointment and re-schedule once you are feeling better and are no longer suffering with symptoms.

Only non-symptomatic patients will be seen. No exceptions.

Accompanying family members – including children – are asked to remain in the waiting area and will not be allowed to enter the exam rooms.

During this time of high concern regarding the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) we are taking extra precautions to maintain the highest possible standards of safety and cleanliness. Please be advised that we are carefully following recommendations from both the CDC and WHO and are here to help guide you through this time if needed.

Some steps we are taking to keeping safe:

  1. We know how important cleanliness is and always maintain the highest standards of cleanliness. To further offer you peace of mind, we have increased the frequency of the cleaning of our office.
  2. Rest assured that hand washing is strictly followed. Hand sanitizer is available to all staff and patients.
  3. Additionally, if you have recently traveled to a country with high rates of the coronavirus or have been on a cruise, please reschedule your visit for at least 14 days from your return date. We will gladly accommodate your needs to reschedule. At that time, a telehealth interface can be arranged if necessary.

Find up-to-date and accurate information on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website and feel free to reach out with questions.

- Your team at Long Island Spine Specialists, P.C.

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To learn more about Long Island Spine Specialists – and to discover how we can relieve your pain and help you find an improved quality of life – please contact our office today and schedule a consultation.

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