Tag: exercise

Mariam Bonyadi Mariam Bonyadi (13 Posts)

Columnist and in-Training Staff Member

University of Illinois College of Medicine


Mariam graduated with a BS in microbiology, immunology, and molecular genetics at the University of California, Los Angeles, where she conducted undergraduate research in B-cell development and lymphomagenesis as well as the neurobiology of stress. In high school, Mariam spent several years studying mechanisms of induced pluripotency in an embryonic stem cell research lab at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla. She now studies computational neuroscience and medicine as part of the Medical Scholars Program (MD/PhD) and the Neuroscience Program (NSP) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Outside of research and clinical experiences, Mariam has earned a black belt in Taekwondo and enjoys yoga and San Diego beaches.

Bridging the Gap

Bridging the Gap focuses on the relationship between basic research and medicine, in order to develop an appreciation for the science that underlies the foundations of modern medicine.




Too Much Exercise? A Closer Look At Modern Fitness Trends

Social media pages with titles like “Motivation For Fitness” and “Gym Looks” are becoming increasingly popular, and it’s hard not to notice the explosion of fitness popularity. But even as the diet industry dwindles and our newfound fascination with health hits its stride, it is important to consider the ramifications of these cultural changes. Has this new trend led to the rise of what has been called “excessive exercise” and how much exercise is too much? Here, we examine how the current rise in fitness culture may be affecting our bodies.

Exercise and Cognition

Cognition affects memory, attention, concentration, judgment and evaluation, and so it is no surprise that deterioration of these facilities can be extremely disturbing to patients and their families. Cognitive decline is a natural part of aging, and results from decreased white matter integrity over time. As the average lifespan continues to increase, dementia grows as a source of morbidity. Pharmacotherapy for dementia is still in its infancy, and while the commonly prescribed drugs have shown efficacy in slowing the progression of dementia, they do little to improve patients’ cognition. Thus, preventative steps to maintain cognition in the elderly are imperative. Exercise can play an important preventative role in this process; in addition, research has shown it to have the potential to reverse cognitive decline — an outcome that still eludes traditional pharmacotherapy.

Exercise for Better Sleep

Good sleep goes hand in hand with good health; after all, one-third of the day is spent in the state of non-wakefulness know as sleep. Whether this sleep is a peaceful slumber or ridden with multiple awakenings has great consequences for productivity, learning, attention and demeanor throughout the day. Thus, it is essential to maintain adequate sleep hygiene, and exercise can play a role in increasing restorative sleep — if done at the right time.

Fighting Substance Abuse with Exercise

As soon as we walk through the recovery program doors, we are greeted with enthusiastic welcomes and familiar smiles. For the past two years, three of my friends and I have been leading exercise workshops at a rehabilitation program for patients overcoming addiction. At first I was nervous about how our program would be received. Would the clients be annoyed by our presence? Would they want to participate in our exercise routines?

Why Exercise is the Best Medicine

More and more doctors are hailing exercise as both preventive and therapeutic medicine, targeting a multitude of symptoms and diseases. In fact, The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) has launched efforts to teach physicians to prescribe exercise to all of their patients as a routine part of their visit. What are some reasons that exercise the best medicine?

Work In the Time to Work Out

We all know it’s important to stay fit and healthy during medical school, especially as ward duties, call nights, electives and residency applications add more stress into our lives. These responsibilities whittle away at our energy and spare time, making it harder to maintain a regular workout regime in a busy schedule. Despite our best efforts, the priority to work out can slip as we struggle to find time. I mean, let’s face it: after …

Why We Should Deadlift

Every day we do some sort of physical activity, whether we realize it or not. From taking the stairs on rounds, helping to transfer patients or retracting for hours during surgery, all of it could be considered physical activity. With this physical activity there is potential for injury especially if you’re unprepared for it. As someone planning on going into Emergency Medicine, I appreciate the value of being prepared for anything. This week we had …

For You Bike Commuters: Six Things I Learned From Two Wheels

Let me start off by saying that I don’t think of myself as a hardcore cyclist: I don’t own multiple bikes, I am not on Strava, and I don’t own a single cycling kit or jersey. In fact, outside of my commute to the hospitals, errand runs and trips to friends’ places, I don’t really ride my bike. I started cycling to work during my clerkship year in medical school, partly as a way to …

Run, Walk, or Diet? Insights into Exercise Science

During the respiration unit of my undergraduate anatomy class, one of my students asked about differences in lung volume, and the effects of “being a runner” versus someone who does not exercise as regularly. While it is widely accepted that regular exercise can improve inspiratory capacity, the diverse impact of exercise on hormone levels and neurogenesis is not discussed as frequently. Exercise science is currently being heavily researched, and an understanding of recent findings can …

Mariam Bonyadi Mariam Bonyadi (13 Posts)

Columnist and in-Training Staff Member

University of Illinois College of Medicine


Mariam graduated with a BS in microbiology, immunology, and molecular genetics at the University of California, Los Angeles, where she conducted undergraduate research in B-cell development and lymphomagenesis as well as the neurobiology of stress. In high school, Mariam spent several years studying mechanisms of induced pluripotency in an embryonic stem cell research lab at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla. She now studies computational neuroscience and medicine as part of the Medical Scholars Program (MD/PhD) and the Neuroscience Program (NSP) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Outside of research and clinical experiences, Mariam has earned a black belt in Taekwondo and enjoys yoga and San Diego beaches.

Bridging the Gap

Bridging the Gap focuses on the relationship between basic research and medicine, in order to develop an appreciation for the science that underlies the foundations of modern medicine.