Dr. Stephanie Marti specializes in working with youth and families challenged by ADHD and executive function deficits, and those with anxiety and depression. Her strength based clinical approach integrates structural family therapy, eco-adventure therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy. Check out her bio.
We discussed Dr. Marti's thoughts on the benefits of physical activity in supporting mental health. Here are some of the points she made:
- Regular physical activity promotes a sense of well-being. People who regularly exercise feel more energetic, sleep better, have sharper memories and feel more relaxed and positive.
- Physical exercise and adventure takes individuals out of their comfort zone, which builds resilience, confidence and a sense of achievement. Connecting these attributes to daily challenges enhances coping mechanisms to confront fears and obstacles.
- Exercise reduces symptoms associated with ADHD and improves concentration, motivation, memory and mood. Neurologically, movement and exercise increase dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin levels in the brain, which improves focus and attention.
- Purposeful movement allows clearer cognitive abilities, giving room for new solutions and planning.
- The sense of achievement in meeting exercise and adventure goals raises self esteem.
- Activities that incorporate movement in nature give a sense of rejuvenation, goal attainment and pleasure that energizes spirits and promotes well-being.
- Understanding how you think about, respond and overcome perceived challenging adventure activities can be informative in how you navigate and manage daily stresses and fears.
- Exercise serves as a healthy distraction and stress-reducer, allowing quiet, reflective time and a break from the cycle of negative thoughts that feed depression and anxiety.
Here are some tips to remember if you want to incorporate exercise to help with mental health:
- Getting started can be challenging. It is important to honor the challenge and stay focused on the steps toward action.
- Know when you need to move your body. Sometimes a simple stretching routine and mindful breathing exercise can be effective.
- Routine exercise, from a walk around the block to a rigorous workout, relieves depression symptoms and promotes positive changes in the brain. Endorphins released while exercising give you a lift, and promote feelings of calm and well being. If you feel overwhelmed, give yourself 10 minutes of physical relief. If you can carve more time, even better.
- Promote better family connections by moving together in nature.
- Find personal recreational activities that incorporate physical movement. If done with others, this shared experience cultivates relationships.
- Remember, exercise is self-care.
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Marti Please call 510-981-1471.