Respond meaningfully to at least two of your peers. In the response post, critique the outline by providing strengths and areas of improvement based

Respond meaningfully to at least two of your peers. In the response post, critique the outline by providing strengths and areas of improvement based on the quality of the following:

· Introduction

· Body w/ transitions

· Conclusion

· Supporting materials – in-text references and APA citations

· Were you persuaded? How was it, or was it not effective?

· Other suggestions for improvement

Estimated time to complete: 2 hours

Response posts are worth 
50% of your grade on this discussion. 

Please review the rubric to ensure your peer responses meet the criteria


Discussion 6- My Persuasive Speech Outline

Specific Purpose: To persuade my fellow classmates and the public on the importance of regular exercise. 

Introduction: Hello everyone, my name is Brandi Yahl. (Take a 33 second pause). I know that pause seemed like a long time, however it was only 33 seconds. In that 33 second pause, at least one person died of heart disease here in America. The CDC states that one person dies every 33 seconds from heart disease here in America. The CDC also states that in 2021, about 695,000 people died in the US, and that makes it the cause of death for 1 in every 5 deaths, with the most common of these heart diseases being coronary artery disease and heart attack (CDC, 2023). However, not all hope is lost, because I am going to tell you all about a patented solution to combatting this prevalent issue.  

Thesis/Preview: “Regular exercise not only boosts your mood and mental health, but also helps to maintain a healthy weight, and reduces your risk for heart disease, cancer, and increase life longevity.” 

I. Exercising daily can boost your mood and mental health, which is often an afterthought when it comes to health considerations. 

A. “Aerobic exercises including jogging, swimming, cycling, walking, gardening, and dancing, have been proved to reduce anxiety and depression” (Sharma, 2006). 

B. This phenomenon is hypothesized to occur due to blood circulation to the brain being increased after exercising, and it acts on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, therefore reducing stress. The HPA axis involves several regions of the brain, such as the limbic system which mediates mood and motivation, the amygdala which produces the fear response when stressed, and lastly the hippocampus, which deals with memory, mood, and motivation as well.  

C. Other mental health benefits of exercise include improved self-efficacy, social interactions, and focus (Sharma, 2006). Not only does research show these things, as an avid exerciser myself, I note marked improvements not only in my mood post workout, but also energy and my ability to focus, which I struggle with a lot when I do not exercise. 

Transition: While the mental health aspect of working out is important, it also has another important aspect which is maintaining a healthy weight. 

II. Working out regularly helps and is vital to maintaining a healthy weight. 

(Bring out visual aid of grapefruit and tangerine for demonstration) 

A pound of fat versus a pound of muscle are the same weight, however they take up a significantly different amount of space. This tangerine in the example is one pound of muscle, and the grapefruit is a representation of 1 pound of fat in comparison (Osborn, 2023). 

A. By maintaining a healthy weight, we help to mitigate the risks that come along with obesity such as cardio-metabolic risks and overall reduction in quality of life. 

B. The NIH has studies that show there are two effective ways to reduce fat, one such way being proper dieting, and the other way is exercising.  

C. Obesity is a major public health concern, as research shows that one-third of adults are obese in America (Niemiro et al, 2023). This may not seem like that big of a deal, but according to Health Line, research shows that people with a higher percentage of fat have a higher overall death rate (Osborn, 2023). 

D. Outside of the health risks it poses, obesity decreases our quality of life in many ways, such as not being able to participate in family activities or keep up with children and others, but also contributes to self-confidence issues and discrimination and stigmas from others in public and in healthcare (NCOA). 

Transition: Weight management is a big part of the benefits of regular exercise, but it also can help to not only save your life, but also increase its longevity. 

III. Exercising regularly helps to reduce the risk of heart disease and some cancers, thereby increasing life longevity. 

A. Exercising at least 150 minutes (about 2 and a half hours) a week can help to reduce the risk of the two leading causes of death in America, which are heart disease and stroke. Speaking from my years of experience as a paramedic as well, I have noted that we see far less patients with chief complaints who are active, versus those who are sedentary. You do not have to do intense working out either, it’s okay to start with walking and stay there, or go further and train more aggressively if you so choose. However movement is movement, and studies have shown that it does the body good. 

B. According to the Mayo clinic, hypertension is one of the risk factors for heart disease and other diseases, and it affects at least 25% of the population. Exercising regularly can help to lower blood pressure. It accomplishes this by strengthening the heart, and in turn allowing the heart to pump blood easier, and therefore it reduces the force on your arteries. Also, as aforementioned, maintaining a healthy weight goes hand in hand with lowering blood pressure as well (Mayo, 2024).

C. Not only can exercising reduce the severity of infectious diseases such as the flu and COVID-19, and also a CDC study also found that adults who exercised regularly are approximately 50% less likely to die from flu and pneumonia when compared to adults who did not meet the physical activity guidelines (CDC, 2023). I know from personal experience that I feel better and do not get as sick when I am working out regularly. 

D. The CDC also states that exercising also can help to reduce the risk of some common cancers such as bladder, breast, colon, lung, stomach, and more (CDC, 2023) 

Conclusion: To end this speech, I would like to quote Vonetta Dotson with the Federation of American Scientists, “It’s time to Move Towards Movement as Medicine… For over 10 years, physical inactivity has been recognized as a global pandemic” (Doston, 2023). The benefits of exercising regularly are insurmountable. Exercising regularly aids mental health, helps to maintain a healthy weight, and helps to reduce the risks of heart disease, cancer, and increase longevity. I encourage you all, whether it is simply taking a walk in the park or riding your bike, get out and move for at least thirty minutes a day, because it very well may save your life.  

(Visual aids would be the fruit demonstration on the comparison of a pound of fat to a pound of muscle, timer at the beginning of the speech, and  a bar graph that I will have drawn or printed out from the CDC website–> this image is pasted below).


Ahmad FB, Cisewski JA, Xu J, Anderson RN. Provisional Mortality Data — United States, 2022. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2023;72:488–492. DOI: 
to an external site.. (IMAGE CITATION)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2023a, May 15). Heart disease facts. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 
to an external site. 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2023c, August 1). Benefits of physical activity. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 
to an external site.

Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2023, August 26). 
7 great reasons why exercise matters. Mayo Clinic. 
to an external site. 

Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2023, August 26). 
7 great reasons why exercise matters. Mayo Clinic. 
to an external site. 

Niemiro GM, Rewane A, Algotar AM. Exercise and Fitness Effect on Obesity. [Updated 2023 Nov 17]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2024 Jan-.Available from: 
to an external site. 

Osborn, C. O. (2023b, May 30). 
Does muscle weigh more than fat? the truth about body composition. Healthline. 
to an external site. 

Sharma, A., Madaan, V., & Petty, F. D. (2006). Exercise for mental health. Primary care companion to the Journal of clinical psychiatry, 8(2), 106. 
to an external site. 

The National Council on Aging. (n.d.). 
to an external site. 

Specific Purpose: How martial arts can manage and reduce stress.


Introduction: Life demands can be challenging, and stress has become a normal daily response to increased life stressors. How many of you have said “just keep on going, I can do it!” or ignored anxiety and stress symptoms because you do not have time. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 40 million adults in the United States are affected by stress and anxiety (Stone, 2017).


Thesis/Preview: Did you know that martial arts training can decrease stress? As a martial arts instructor, today, I want to explore some of the most important practices of martial arts training that can effectively reduce stress and promote mental well-being. Deep breathing, meditation, and intense concentration are three of many martial arts practices that have proven to be the most effective techniques in stress reduction.


I. Deep breathing is one of the fundamental aspects of martial arts. Learning effective breathing is important for enhancing speed, generating energy, and improving focus (Hoopes, 2023).



A. During moments of anxiety and stress, blood pressure increases, and body muscles tense up in preparation for the fight-or-flight response. Deep breathing helps the body relax and destress by lowering blood pressure and heart rate and reducing lactic acid buildup that causes muscle tension (Blount, 2021).

B. According to a study published by the National Library of Medicine, deep breathing techniques have led to effective improvement in mood and stress (Perciavalle et al, 2017)


Transition: We have explored the importance of deep breathing and how it can effectively promote relaxation and reduce stress levels. We need to explore meditation, one of the most important techniques offered by martial arts training, that can enhance stress relief.


II. Martial art classes always start and end with mediation techniques, which allow participants to quiet their minds, center themselves, and let go of any worries, which improves performance.



A. Meditation is a mind-body complementary medicine that can restore calm and inner peace and improve emotional well-being by reducing stress and anxiety (Mayo Clinic staff, 2023).

B. According to research, meditation can help manage medical conditions such as cancer, asthma, heart disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and many more chronic conditions and illnesses (Mayo Clinic staff, 2023).

C. According to the National Library of Medicine, there was a 48% reduction in deaths, heart attacks, and strokes in a controlled study of 201 African American men and women with coronary heart disease (Sharma, 2015).


Transition: The more we explore martial arts practices, the more we learn about their positive impact on mental well-being. Learning effective deep breathing and practicing meditation are only two of the many practices that can promote calm and mindfulness. We are now going to learn how increased focus can lead to stress reduction.


III. Due to the intense concentration and focus required during martial arts training, the mind goes through a reset phase that allows the body to remain calm even during chaotic situations.



A. By practicing increased focus and concentration during martial arts training, one strengthens the mind-body connection, enhances awareness, cultivates a positive mindset, overcomes challenges, and achieves a state of harmony and balance.

B. Increased focus and concentration have significant positive effects on mindfulness, while stress, irritability, and psychological distress have a negative impact on concentration (Sissons, 2023).


Conclusion: In conclusion, martial arts isn’t about learning street fights or increasing physical prowess; it’s about unleashing the power within. Practicing martial arts techniques offers many great opportunities to enhance not only your mental health but also your physical well-being. It cultivates mental clarity, resilience, and a positive mindset. So, let us step on the dojo mat, not to spar but to unleash the powers within by practicing deep breathing and mindfulness and increasing our focus to face stress head-on, with grace and determination.



· Blount, Abria (June 30, 2021). 
Deep Breathing Helps Ease Anxiety. PsychCentral. 
Deep Breathing to Ease Anxiety I Psych CentralLinks to an external site.

· Hoopes, Aaron (July 31, 2023). 
Breathing for Martial Artists – Part 1. Martial Journal. 
Breathing for Martial Artists – Part 1 – Martial JournalLinks to an external site.

· Mayo Clinic staff (December 14, 2023). 
Meditation: A Simple, Fast Way to Reduce Stress. Mayo Clinic. 
Meditation: Take a stress-reduction break wherever you are – Mayo ClinicLinks to an external site.

· Perciavalle, V., Blandini, M., Fecarotta, P., Buscemi, A., Di Corrado, D., Bertolo, L., Fichera, F., & Coco, M. (2017). The role of deep breathing on stress. 
Neurological sciences : official journal of the Italian Neurological Society and of the Italian Society of Clinical Neurophysiology
38(3), 451–458. 
to an external site.

· Sharma H. (2015). Meditation: Process and effects. 
36(3), 233–237. 
to an external site.

· Sissons, Beth (August 21, 2023). How Can People Improve Concentration and Focus? Medical News Today. 
How to improve concentration: Tips and when to contact a doctor ( to an external site.

· Stone, Jim (March 30, 2017). 
5 Sources of Stress and Anxiety in the Modern World. Psychology Today. 
5 Sources of Stress and Anxiety in the Modern World | Psychology TodayLinks to an external site.



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