Danica Edelbrock, M.S
Danica Edelbrock, M.S. is an Exercise Physiologist with over 20 years experience developing specialized fitness and exercise programs for the San Diego community.
Movement is Life
The last few months have been life changing for most people. During times of change it’s important to hold onto the things that are within our control. One aspect of our life that we have control over is daily movement. We must harness our inner strength and keep moving during these uncertain times.
Overriding the Blues
Americans are reporting increased and sustained symptoms of depression and anxiety related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Finding motivation may be difficult but getting exercise in every day will stimulate the release of endorphins, hormones secreted that diminish pain and trigger a positive feeling within the body. Improvements in mood have been noted in as little as 5 minutes of physical activity and once this happens a cascade of positive benefits ensues. It may sound daunting to exercise every single day but your body will thank you for it.
Daily is Ideal
To maintain optimal health and create healthy habits we must focus on these components of physical wellness every day; cardiovascular, flexibility, balance, and relaxation.
Cardiovascular exercise, like walking, biking, swimming, or dance classes, has been studied and proven to enhance mood, strengthen the heart, improve circulation, and manage many metabolic conditions, like diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity. At least 30 minutes a day is recommended. Ten minutes three times a day is just as beneficial.
Daily stretching will increase blood flow and energy levels, reduce joint and muscle pain, improve posture, reduce risk of falling and reduce risk for injury related to enhanced activity or inactivity! As little as 5-10 minutes of total body stretching daily will improve how you feel.
Balance involves our neuromuscular system which is dependent upon many variables including sleep, fatigue, illness, stress and age; therefore a minimum of five minutes every day should be devoted to balance. The exercise can be as simple as standing on one foot with the eyes open or closed. For optimal benefit each leg should be challenged for 30-60 seconds before changing to the other leg. Please take the time to practice frequently. It could prevent an unnecessary fall.
Stress can wreak havoc on our body causing physical symptoms of low energy, headaches, upset stomach, aches and pains, insomnia, decreased immune system, and an increased risk for certain diseases like heart disease and cancer. Stress is innate and is our body’s reaction to harmful situations, real or perceived. We must learn techniques to manage our stress to live a longer, healthier life. It can be as simple as stopping and taking a few long, slow, deep breaths when we feel our heart and breath rates begin to quicken.
A physician consultation is always recommended prior to starting a new or more rigorous exercise program. Please exercise safely at home in an area free of clutter or obstacles; stay hydrated and cool. It is extremely important to get outside and connect with nature and others but please wear a mask and maintain social distancing.