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Physical Activity has Psychological and Physical Benefits

Studies have shown that physical activity has many physical and psychological benefits. Staying physically active can increase happiness (Wang et al., 2012), improve health (Lee and Skerrett, 2001), and enhance quality of life (Penedo and Dahn, 2005).

Getting Started with a Problem Can Be Hard but Mindfulness Can Help

Dishman and Buckworth (1996) found that it is common for adults to quit an exercise program within the first 6 months of starting it, which decreases the chance for folks to fully receive the benefits of an exercise program. One factor that has been identified as helping people stick with an exercise program is satisfaction with physical activity.

In 2016 Tsafou et al. (2016) found that a mindfulness practice while you are exercising can increase

one’s sense of satisfaction with exercise, thereby helping one reinforce and sustain the habit of staying active. Other studies have found that mindfulness can also help bolster motivation to stay active and reported levels of enjoyment of exercise (Schneider et al., 2018).

Mindfulness not only helps with reinforcing habit, motivation, satisfaction and enjoyment of exercise, but can also help with dealing with the common challenges that come with physical activity: fatigue, discomfort, and overcoming obstacles (Schneider et al., 2018). This fact could be very helpful for those who have negative attitudes towards exercise or find exercise uncomfortable.

Mindfulness Meditation For Beginners

Use Deep Breathing to Gain Body Awareness

This 5 Minute Mindfulness Meditation is led by Tara Brach, a renowned meditation teacher and psychologist who is based out of Washington, DC. 

Download a Meditation App 

Insight Timer
Insight timer is a free app/website with an archive of guided meditations, longer talks teachings, sound healings, and other offerings.

Headspace
Headspace is a paid subscription app/service which provides guided meditation instruction. There is currently some free offerings on their website to deal with stress and overwhelm connected to COVID-19.

Get Connected with a Local Meditation Group

Insight LA
Insight LA is a meditation center based in Los Angeles, which is now offering classes and group guided meditations online via teleconference platforms.  

Group Yoga Classes at Femina Physical Therapy / Fusion Wellness and Physical Therapy

I will be offering yoga classes over Zoom throughout the COVID-19 crisis. Check out the Online Events Page or the  Femina PT Instagram page for more information. Call the office at (818) 864-6732 to sign up!

Resources

Schneider, J., Malinowski, P., Watson, P. M., & Lattimore, P. (2018). The role of mindfulness in physical activity: a systematic review. Obesity Reviews. doi:10.1111/obr.12795 

Tsafou, K.-E., De Ridder, D. T., van Ee, R., & Lacroix, J. P. (2016). Mindfulness and satisfaction in physical activity: A cross-sectional study in the Dutch population. Journal of Health Psychology, 21(9), 1817–1827. doi:10.1177/1359105314567207 

Tsafou, K.-E., Lacroix, J. P., van Ee, R., Vinkers, C. D., & De Ridder, D. T. (2016). The relation of trait and state mindfulness with satisfaction and physical activity: A cross-sectional study in 305 Dutch participants. Journal of Health Psychology, 22(10), 1221–1232. doi:10.1177/1359105315624748 

Wang F, Orpana HM, Morrison H, et al. (2012) Longterm association between leisure-time physical activity and changes in happiness: Analysis of the Prospective National Population Health Survey. American Journal of Epidemiology 176(12): 1095–1100

Lee IM and Skerrett PJ (2001) Physical activity and all-cause mortality: What is the dose-response relation? Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise 33(6): S459–S471 (discussion S493–S494). Available at: http://www.ncbi. nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11427772

Penedo FJ and Dahn JR (2005) Exercise and wellbeing: A review of mental and physical health benefits associated with physical activity. Current Opinion in Psychiatry 18(2): 189–193

Dishman RK and Buckworth J (1996) Increasing physical activity: A quantitative synthesis. Medicine

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    • Testimonial by M.M.

      My husband and I were married for 5 years and unable to have intercourse, but I never knew why. After numerous awful experiences at doctor’s offices (where many doctors told me I “just needed to relax”), a surgery that didn’t fix the problem, and a year of owning dilators that didn’t get me anywhere, someone finally referred me to Heather for Physical Therapy. I finally had answers and information from someone who knew exactly what I was dealing with!

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    • Testimonial by P.M.

      I was hopeful but frankly skeptical when the doctor treating me for Interstitial Cystitis recommended that I go to Heather for physical therapy. Medication and diet helped control my IC symptoms, but I had never heard of physical therapy being used to treat IC. The education and treatment I received from Heather was a revelation. She explained that the pain I experienced with IC had helped create a cycle of muscle guarding which affected the entire pelvic area. I had no idea of the amount of...

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