Women Living Well Seminar
Name: Amy Campbell
Subject: Forum Question Exercise and Mental Health
Date: 2002-04-03 20:10:22
Message Id: 1702
Kate Fonshell spoke about the strong mind/body connection and the positive role of exercise. How do you define the 'what', 'when' and 'where' of inserting exercise in to your day - week? How has exercise/movement benefited your mental health?
Name: Tasneem P.
Date: 2002-04-03 22:30:40
Message Id: 1703
I think there is alot about migraines that we don't understand yet. My mom gets frequent migraines, but they are caused by any number of things ane under a number of different circumstances. It seems like some people are just unlucky...
Name: Tasneem P.
Subject: Exercise and Mental Health
Date: 2002-04-03 22:32:53
Message Id: 1704
I really liked the comments today about how just 15 minutes a day can contribute to better mental health. For me, the obstacle to getting up and exercising is often the time it takes to get into workout clothes, not having the right shoes on, not being in a place "conducive" to exercise. I liked that Kate told us to get out of the "all or nothing" mentality.
Subject: Exercise and Mental Health
Date: 2002-04-03 22:49:54
Message Id: 1705
I have tried to integrate an exercise program into my daily routine. By taking a long route to class, as was suggested in the meeting, as well as exercising in the morning when I get out of the bed. I have discovered that by incorporating a little exercise into the day as well as eating fruits (I prefer nectarines) and drinking water (which also beautifies the skin's complexion), I have dramatically begun to lead a more fulfilling lifestyle. I find that I need less sleep to function and that I no longer uselessly sleep either. At the same time, I have recognized that when my body says it's time to sleep, I sleep. The body and the mind must work in concert with each other in order for the person to function properly and in a healthy manner.
Name: Liz Bonovitz
Subject: exercise and mental health
Date: 2002-04-03 22:54:15
Message Id: 1706
Wow! I was so excited to hear Kate Fonshell. I remember watching her win the olympic trials in 1996 and it was really great to see her in person! I definitely think that exercise improves my mental health. I feel more awake and calm after exercise. Also, I do notice that it tends to control appetite. I try to schedule exercise in just like anything else in my day. Although sometimes when I'm feeling really sleep deprived I end up taking a nap instead. Most of the time, I do get my exercise in. One thing that helps me is to just do what I have time for and to try not to overface myself. If I do too much I stop enjoying it. For me, exercising is definitely part of a healthy lifestyle, I don't feel healthy if I'm not feeling reasonably fit.
Date: 2002-04-03 23:39:55
Message Id: 1708
During high school, at some point, I randomly began weightlifting for myself. What I've noticed since then (and what Kate pointed out in her talk) was how much it served as a stress relief within itself. Whenever I have "pent up" feelings, I really feel like I can somehow let them out during that process and I feel a lot lighter afterwards. Also, her point about setting goals was something I've encountered as a successful progress method as well. It feels great to systematically reach higher and higher levels of discipline and exercise.
Date: 2002-04-04 00:01:47
Message Id: 1709
I generally have the same problems as others that have posted: I'm tired; the gym is far away; so much homework; not only factoring exercise time but time for getting ready, getting there, and getting showered and re-dressed afterwards. Plus, whenever I do things, I want immediate gratification, and exercise doesn't provide that. Kate Fonshell's talk made me realize that I don't have to make exercise such a chore, and I hope that I can take those words to heart. To do this, I need to pick something that I like to do, set a time to do it, and maybe just go out around campus - not necessarily the gym, which (to me) is just a reminder of how many other people ARE exercising, instead of a source of inspiration.
Name: Monica Locsin
Subject: Exercise and Mental Health
Date: 2002-04-04 01:08:15
Message Id: 1712
Kate Fonshell spoke about the strong mind/body connection and the positive role of exercise. How do you define the 'what', 'when'
and 'where' of inserting exercise in to your day - week? How has exercise/movement benefited your mental health?
I used to exercise three times a week before college but since I have so much work I do not have the time to go to the gym because it is so far away I have not really worked out. I actually miss working out because it makes me feel better and it relieves my daily stress. I ought to start exercising again because it is a great way to start or end my day. The only exercise I really get now is walking and it feels good too but I hope to start going back to the gym soon because I like being active.
Name: Shanti Mikkilineni
Date: 2002-04-04 11:22:37
Message Id: 1718
I usually try to get the exercise done in the morning because I found that the later in the day that I did it, the easier it was to postpone because work would come up or I was just too tired to do it. I really enjoy playing sports so after a while I started joining club sports becaue I found that going to the gym in the morning soon became a chore. By integrating it into a fun activity I had a great time and it felt great. Exercise has definitley made me feel better physically and its a great feeling to know you can play a sport well or that you were responsible for how great you feel and look.
Name: Amy Campbell
Subject: Contact info for Kate Fonshell
Date: 2002-04-04 12:21:59
Message Id: 1719
Kate Fonshell is available by e-mail to answer questions or continye the conversation about the benefits of exerecise. You may contact her at
Name: Marie Brown
Date: 2002-04-04 16:21:26
Message Id: 1722
Last year I had a very definite workout scheduled into my day. I decided to go to the gym from 6:30-7:00 AM everyday. I know it sounds crazy to be getting up that early, but I found that that was the one time when I KNEW that NOTHING suddenly pop up to distract me. This year I am definitely stuck in the all or nothing routine, which has prevented me from being as active as I would like. I'm going to try exercising in little ways for small amounts of time in order to get back in the swing of things.
Date: 2002-04-04 16:39:56
Message Id: 1723
I think exercise is very important in one's life because it keeps the mind and the body fit. I used to exercise every once in a while when I was in high school and it made me feel better and healthier. HOwever, i'm a very lazy person and find it an effort to exercise so I haven't been doing much lately...
Name: Nicole Pietras
Date: 2002-04-04 19:10:55
Message Id: 1724
I normally exercise when I am stressed out or I have some extra time during my day to fit it in. Classes here aren't very condusive to having an exercise schedule, I feel when I'm not doing homework, going to classes, or eating, I am normally sleeping. When I am stressed out from classes and work, exercise allows me to have a break from everything and clear my mind.
Date: 2002-04-04 20:28:18
Message Id: 1725
i think the way you define exercise has everything to do with your perspective about physical activity in general. she said that it could make you less stressed out, and i'm sure that's true for some people, but i find that if i am really overwhelmed with work, then the thought of exercise does nothing to relieve that. instead, the idea of having yet another obligation is just too much. while i might feel a little better while actually working out, i usually regret it later when i am so busy and i think "i shouldn't have spent time on the [whatever] machine, i should have spent it writing my paper. my professor doesn't care an iota about my nice legs." and i'm sure people might criticize me, but that just proves my point - it all has to do with your perspective, whether you choose to see it as a waste or time or a distraction from more urgent and important matters.
i found it ironic that she suggested being creative as a way to get regulalry non-active people to exercise. it seems to me that these are the very people who are already the most creative in finding excuses about why they don't have a regular work out. we all know the perennial joke about the couch potato who breaks a sweat from the stress of flipping the remote. of course, this is an exaggerate caricature, but dieters and others make these types of creative rationalizations all the time. i hardly think a lack of imagination is the problem. it's attitude. sure, i could take a longer route around campus to get to a certain building, and the thought might even cross my mind before i start out, but when it comes down to it, i'm still going to go the shortest route as long as i think exercise is a waste of time. not that i don't want to be healthy and all that, but i felt like no one was really pointing out the obvious. i mean, everyone wants to be fit, but there's another reason why a lot of people aren't, and it has nothing to do with ignorance.
Name: Kristina E. Davis
Subject: athletics and depression
Date: 2002-04-04 21:35:29
Message Id: 1726
I had heard about the connection between exercise and depression before, but I had underestimated the amount to which any exercise would be beneficial. It is interesting that any physical activity, including shopping, would fall under the category of exercise. I wonder if grouping such things like shopping as exercise, then people will rationalize away actual exercise.
Name: Sherolyn Oh
Date: 2002-04-06 19:11:53
Message Id: 1730
Even though Kate Fonshell suggested that we see exercise as a positive thing, I honestly find it hard to do so. The word 'exercise' reminds me of a chore, which I have to force myself to do. Luckily, I've found some fun ways to exercise. I really enjoy group activities, such as volleyball and bowling. I also enjoy video games such as DDR (Dance Dance Revolution) and a newer game called PUMP. These activities are so fun that I play them in my free time. I even bought DDR pads for my playstation and exercise in my dorm room. Exercise has helped me relieve my stress and feel lively and energetic. These feelings also affect my mental health and help me concentrate and feel alert while I study.
Name: Barbara Cathcart
Date: 2002-04-07 12:36:19
Message Id: 1734
Since last summer I've made exercise a regular part of my life again and it feels great. Not only is it wonderful to get into and stay in shape, working out always improves my mood and gets me energized to start my work. I was really surprised by some of the comments about exercise being a chore. Although it was difficult and a little frustrating at the beginning, working out is now one of the most enjoyable parts of my day. I think the trick, as discussed in the seminar, is sticking with it.
Date: 2002-04-08 10:47:04
Message Id: 1745
It was good to hear that exercise can simply consist of taking a longer route to class and does not have to be a rigorous routine. Although I don't have much time to go to the gym, I do try and do some kind of physical activity throughout the week.
Name: Jennifer Vaughan
Date: 2002-04-08 12:18:49
Message Id: 1746
Ever since high school, I have make a point of exercising for at least a few minutes every day. This exercise usually comes from walking to class: I walk quickly out of habit, and I try to leave myself enough time to take an indirect route. I started doing this for physical reasons, rather than mental ones: if I don't exercise, then I can't sleep, and staying relatively motionless for long periods of time greatly irritates my knees. However, I have also noticed mental benefits: I can concentrate longer when I exercise, and it helps reduce stress.
Name: Irum Shehreen Ali
Date: 2002-04-08 13:56:35
Message Id: 1747
I used to be one of those people who are ferverently anti-excercise. I would sit back and wwatch my friends sweat it out in soccer or cross-country and be convinced that I wanted none of it. This semester, I am taking jazz dance and have started swimming regularly. Almost against my will - I found that it not only made me feel better - but that thegreatest benefit that it provided me was that it allowed me to forget the rest of my life for an hour three time a week. Its really helped me find balance in a semester where there have been way too many pressures.
Name: Nana Ama
Date: 2002-04-08 18:01:30
Message Id: 1748
I was very a "anti-exercise" person. However I have made an effort to change that this semester. I try to go to the gym once in a while to work out. I can barely work out for five straight minutes so i take it bit by bit. Slowly and steadilty am building some "stamina" and going an extra three minutes every time i work out and It feels really good afterwards. However, I am still struggling to fit this into my schedule. It basically depends on how much work i have to do, my mood, etcetera. Hopefully, I would be able to work out on the regular basis at specific times by the end of the semester.
Name: Sara Press
Subject: Working Out
Date: 2002-04-08 19:33:27
Message Id: 1750
She said some interesting things about physical exercise and simple things you can do to be more physically fit. She had some good points and made me realize that I do feel better when I am more active, and although it is hard to get down to the gym three times a week for 30-40 minutes, I can keep myself active in other ways.
Name: Jennifer Prince
Date: 2002-04-09 00:45:25
Message Id: 1761
I am one of those people who once I am in the gym I don't want to leave. However it is the task of getting to the gym that keeps me from going as often as I would like to. I am convinced of the mental benefits of excercise. There is nothing better than running or going to the gym after a bad test. Even knowing the benefits though.. I wish there was some sort of shuttle to the gym!
Name: Elizabeth Marcus
Date: 2002-04-09 13:54:09
Message Id: 1765
Exercise has been a woderful tool in maintaining my mental health. It is easiest for me to exercise in the summer since I bike to and from work. The ride is about 2.5-3 miles so it's a great workout. I have found this to be a very easy way to exercise since I can not skip it because that is how I get to work. During the school year, I like to be outside as much as possible and so walks into town are the usual way for me to exercise. Timing them is more of a challenge, but it usually works so that I take longer walks about four times a week.
Subject: Exercise and Mental Health
Date: 2002-04-09 16:31:34
Message Id: 1766
Idealy, I would hope to be the exercise type. I think I really need it to destress and to gain a more positive body image. But I have enough trouble rolling out of bed before noon so I can't imagine exercise on a regular basis. I mean I always make plans, but when it comes right down to it, I always opt to sleep...But I aspire to being more active, most certainly.
Name: Greta Tessman
Date: 2002-04-09 20:22:49
Message Id: 1768
I was particularly struck by her simple comment that the most beneficial exercise is one you like to do. I incorporate some form of exercising into every week and have tried many different things: aerobics, running, kick boxing, tennis, stairmaster, etc. and it wasn't until recently that I discovered how much I like swimming. I used to dread running but find that I actually look forward to swimming. It's much easier to come away from exercising feeling good if you didn't spend the whole time being mad that you were doing it (such as when I was running).
Name: Molly Finnegan
Subject: exercise and mental health
Date: 2002-04-09 21:02:48
Message Id: 1769
The session was very confirming. Last semester I worked out everyday for up to an hour, which was a lot. This semester I'm lucky if I convince myself to go to the gym for twenty minutes once a week. But it still counts!!! I thought to get any benefit you needed to work out for at least an hour (darn middle school gym teachers!!?!?!). Having this new bit of information makes me feel like exercise is more do-able. Although I was less stressed last semester and do feel I can attribute part of that to the exercise. Basically the answer is: we should have less homework!!!
Subject: The Rut
Date: 2002-04-09 22:59:02
Message Id: 1770
Sometimes I feel like a wheelbarrow stuck in a rut-- as a student I have learned to function in very set routines and schedules which seldom change. I go to class at the same time every week, I eat at the same time, I even eat the same things on specific days of the week. Not only is this boring, but it is also limiting and constrained. Whenever I exercise though, of my own volition, that brings an element of spontaneity into my life. It is a period of unstructured activity that is healthy as well as liberating.
Name: Sarah G. Kim
Subject: Exercise and Mental Health
Date: 2002-04-10 00:16:44
Message Id: 1771
I used to exercise quite regularly my freshman year, but over the years it has gotten very difficult to squeeze in a trip to the gym. My classes are practically right out of the back door of my door, so I dont find myself doing many cross-campus treks either. Exercising definitely gives me an alert sense of what my body is feeling. Even if I am sore from exercise, I feel accomplishment and satisfaction of having worked out. Music is a huge factor for me when I exercise. I love having great beats and tunes to listen to, and it significantly shortens the time of activity, particularly something repetitive like jogging. I am sure that listening to music and exercising are both activities that are good for your mental health. Not only does it give your mind to relax, but it also reminds me that I can enjoy myself even when I'm doing something that's not "fun" (exercise isn't fun to me!).
Subject: fitting exercise in
Date: 2002-04-10 01:29:47
Message Id: 1773
I admit that this is one of my biggest challenges. For one thing, I am a person who never excelled at sports... last one picked for teams and all that kind of stuff... and so I have often viewed exercise as an embarrising chore. I liked what Kate said about being able to split exercise up so that you do some if not all the exercise recommended. However, this semester I'm making a conscious effort to incorporate more "traditional" exercise into my weekly schedule. On the mornings when I have a later class, I get up at the same time that I would to go to my early class and try to do an aerobics or pilates workout in my room. I've found that for now I am much more comfortable working out alone than with a buddy--that's what works for me right now and maybe when I feel a little more physically fit, I'll enjoy a buddy more, but fitting this in is my first step.
Name: Rachel Wright
Subject: the last posting
Date: 2002-04-10 01:30:43
Message Id: 1774
Sorry, I am an idiot. The previous anonymous posting was from me.
Name: emiko saito
Date: 2002-04-10 10:04:25
Message Id: 1775
I think its difficult, especially in an environment like Bryn Mawr, to do things for one's self. Kate had mentioned that exercise and the scheduling of it is a form of selfcare. I thought that was an intersting point. Often I don't have the time for "things for myself" while I am in school. I have numerous obligations pulling me in multiple directions, scheduling time to bathe and eat is often difficult. In this way, exercise is an impossibility. I have tried instituting a scheduled program of exercise at the beginning of a number of semesters, yet by the point of midterms, these programs are usually abandoned for sleep. Ideally, I would like to have time to exercise - to make time to exercise, but often it seems like more of a luxury than a reality.
Name: Alia Preston
Date: 2002-04-10 10:20:52
Message Id: 1776
I think that Bryn Mawr is one of the hardest places to intergrate excerise and physical health into our everyday lives because of our stress factors and because quite a few things are out of our control. I have found it difficult to integrate exercise into my everday life, but I like the fact that, as said above in the postings, that Kate pointed out that the "all or none" mentality is not one that we have to have about exercise.
Date: 2002-04-10 10:41:19
Message Id: 1777
I have just recently started an exercise program and found it to be very beneficial and everything that was discussed last Wednesday. It helped me adjust to a normal sleep schedule, I can concentrate better, I am able to maintain a constant level of energy and am acctually less hungry. The benefits far outweigh my general laziness and the extra nap I could get in instead of going to the gym. It is a good way to relieve tension and work towards a goal.
Name: Mariah Schumacher
Date: 2002-04-10 10:44:15
Message Id: 1778
I find that one of the most relaxing things is taking walks around Bryn Mawr campus in the evening. I do this a couple of times a week because it is one of the ways that I can really reduce stress and force my mind off of work. I also swim a lot during the summer.
Name: Lois McAffrey-Lopez
Date: 2002-04-10 11:18:29
Message Id: 1779
I fit exercise into my daily life, because the rest of the day goes much better when I include exercise. I am more productive, healthy and happy.
I feel that I accomplish more when I am not stressed.
Date: 2002-04-10 11:25:41
Message Id: 1780
In my life, exercise has played an important role in creating less stress in my life. The first time I had a bad break-up with an ex-boyfriend, I began going to the gym at my high school every afternoon. The reason was to get my mind off of things. Boy did it work. I was hooked from then on. I would work out two hours every day, except on weekends, after school. I had loved playing sports, volleyball, basketball and cheerleading before but had given them up to do other things such as theater and debate. I realized that playing sports and being physically active had balanced me out in a way that I missed my last two years in high school. Since coming to college though I find it harder to find the free time (but do so when I can). In addition, I hate the gym here at the school...there is little to no equipment that I enjoy using. As a result I do as much as I can in my room and then go outside to get physical exercise.
Physical exercise, in my opinion, does a lot to combat depression and stress. :)