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Navitas Organics Blog

The Best Rx for Mental Health is Movement

The health benefits of daily physical activity and vigorous exercise have been well established in research literature as effective treatment for a wide range of diseases. As a prevention strategy, the physiological benefits of exercise cannot be understated. It is now known that genetics only predicts 25 percent of future health, while the remaining 75 percent is a result of lifestyle and environmental factors. The relative risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes and some cancers can be significantly reduced with as little as 2 to 2.5 hours of exercise per week, lowering even further with more time spent engaging in aerobic activity. It should come as no surprise that exercise is also a powerful modulator of mood and mental health disorders. Each May, in honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, health educators endeavor to reduce the stigma around mental illness by highlighting successful strategies to reduce symptoms and prevent exacerbations of this complex category of diseases. This year, the Fitness #4Mind4Body campaign is advocating for the power of exercise to significantly improve symptoms of disordered thinking, anxiety and poor self-esteem. Adopting a physical fitness routine may be one of the best tools available to those struggling with psychological disorders.

The News is Not Great
Sadly, it has become commonplace to learn of another mass shooting, terrorist act and episode of extreme societal violence in the news today. Mental Health America, a non-profit established in the early 1900s, reports that 18 percent of adults and upwards of 8.2 percent of youth in the United States suffer from mild to serious mental illness. The social stigma of a psychological diagnosis continues to be a barrier to reporting, and therefore, these statistics don’t accurately tell the whole story. Rates of depression among youth have escalated over the past five years, warranting renewed attention to look for new areas of prevention among this demographic. Unfortunately, mental disorder medications like SSRIs, antipsychotics and anxiolytics often cause undesirable side effects like weight gain, impotence and lethargy, which combine to further compromise self-confidence and self-esteem. For these reasons, and for a variety of other physical and psychological benefits, exercise can make all the difference in the successful management of a mental illness.

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Topics: education, information, movement, prevention, activity, blog, exercise, fitness, food, foods, health, healthy

Four Ways to Relieve Stress Through Fitness and Nutrition

Posted by Jeff Newman on Apr 18, 2017 7:03:00 PM

Stress is a part of everyone’s lives. Work, family, financials, projects, and even everyday chores can all contribute to our stress levels, making it impossible to eliminate. However, there are numerous ways to help manage stress, and there’s no better time than National Stress Awareness Month to examine four ways to relieve stress through fitness and nutrition.



Sweat it Out

The physical benefits of working out are well documented. Lifting weights and doing cardio workouts are great ways to build strength, lose weight and stay healthy. However, exercising can also have a positive effect on the mind by helping to reduce stress. It has been shown that exercising can help reduce fatigue, improve concentration and enhance your overall cognitive function. This can be extremely advantageous, especially when you’ve been “stressed out” for a while. When you’re in a stressed state, the nerves in your body are affected, leading to an overall negative impact on the entire body. By exercising, you are countering this effect by releasing endorphins, which act as natural painkillers, thus helping to reduce your stress. So, get to the gym, clear your head and get your blood pumping!


Walk in Nature

Think of exercise as a therapy session for your body and mind. If you don’t have time to make it to the gym, take a short break to go for a walk outside. Fitting in a quick 15-minute walk on your lunch break will have a positive impact on your stress levels and mood. Even just five minutes of aerobic exercise outside in the sunshine can help reduce stress and provide an added boost of Vitamin D!


Practice Yoga

In addition to exercising in the gym or outside, practicing simple yoga moves can help to quiet the mind, ease anxiety and improve flexibility. Stretching through yoga is also good for the nervous system and lymphatic system, as it increases blood flow and encourages deep breathing, which in itself is a major stress reliever.

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Topics: nutrition, stress, fitness

5 Key Tips for Making Exercise a Daily Habit

Posted by Team Navitas on Feb 21, 2017 9:30:19 PM

With today's technology-focused way of life centered around sitting in front of a computer screen for an average of eight or more hours a day, it's critical to make time to move your body regularly.

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Topics: exercise, fitness, habits, tips, healthy living

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