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The Penndulum

The Penndulum

The Mind is Better in Movement

Krislyn Strohl
The walking path and bridge in Lenape Park.

Fitness, exercise, and working out all impact your mental health in a variety of ways, so finding what makes you the best you is important. Having anxiety, depression, or any mental health condition can make life seem impossible to go through. When your brain is not producing the proper amount of neurotransmitters, the body and mind do not work to their greatest potential. A lack of apparent signals could be because your brain is not sending enough, sending too much, or the receptors are not allowing the neurotransmitters to send signals appropriately through the brain. Endorphins, also known as adrenaline, are the neurotransmitters that are quick-acting and pain-relieving. It is also responsible for “runners high,” but you don’t have to run to achieve that feeling. A long walk, run, laps in the pool, and recreational and fast-paced soccer, basketball, or tennis games can all also be responsible for this “high” feeling. Anything that will move your body in a fast motion will have your brain send these signals throughout. Because endorphins act as a natural pain reliever, it’s also very common for those with chronic pain to feel relief when they do activities that release these endorphins.

Sometimes, the “mental fry” feeling occurs throughout the day. Overwhelming school work, an illness in your family, a long day, or any other stress can all contribute to feeling mentally burnt out. The feeling of being mentally burnt out or mental “fry” affects everyone differently, but a good guideline to go off of is how Avery Stewart deals with working out and her level of anxiety, “I tend to see how I’m feeling on that particular day. High anxiety days, I tend to be way more self-conscious, so I’ll wear baggier clothing and ask a friend to tag along with me at the gym so I don’t feel so alone while I’m working out.” Getting out of the environment that is causing physical or mental stress will greatly improve your well-being as well. Getting out of a stressful environment and starting to exercise produces serotonin. The best part of serotonin is that as long as you are moving in a way you enjoy, it will still be released, even with minimal movement. Some activities you can do are quality yoga in your room or at a studio, jogging around your neighborhood, or dancing around the house, which will cause your brain to release serotonin. Bridgette Smart, an avid gym-goer, says, “I don’t know, usually when I lift weights, I usually feel the same afterward- lifting doesn’t make me feel a lot better, whereas cardio makes me feel a lot better, and it’s like a breath of fresh air. One section of lifting that makes me feel good is chest lifting, though- for me personally.”

Serotonin is also known as the happy hormone, and one of its main functions is to lower stress. What serotonin is also known for includes memory, drive in fear, the stress response, digestion, addiction, sexuality, sleep, breathing, and body temperature. Doing ample exercise in your normal day-to-day schedule is best to get the greatest benefit. Dopamine, known as the “feel-good” hormone, is most known for giving a person a sense of pleasure. Dopamine is released in the human body when a person is doing something pleasurable, causing the feeling of happiness and upholding an urge to want to continue doing the activity. Dopamine affects the ability to learn and comprehend topics and the ability to have a longer attention span. Activities that release dopamine also affect a person’s mood and desire to move around or be active. Health-wise, dopamine helps regulate heart rate, affects the function of your kidneys and blood vessels, sleep cycles, quality of sleep, and lactation, and aids in pain processing.

Exercise can be daunting and scary, but the amount of exercise and how often you work out does not determine your self-worth and should be measured on a personal level and how it makes you feel about yourself, not basing it off of how others tell you how it should feel. That is perfect as long as you are doing the best you can, and it makes you feel good about yourself. Nobody is the same, and everything works differently for every single person. With that said, if a new “trending” workout doesn’t work for you, don’t get discouraged; it may not work for everyone!



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Physical Components:,that%20is%20experienced%20long%2Dterm.

How Mental Health and Physical Health go hand-in-hand:

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About the Contributor
Krislyn Strohl, Student Writer
Krislyn Strohl, Grade 12. Interests and hobbies include theatre, NHS, writing, SFX, exploring new places outdoors, cinematography, and hanging out with friends and family. Krislyn will attend college and major in Film Production as she aims to one day become a director and/or producer.

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