Does the mere thought of exercising cause your face to contort in anguish? That’s probably because the type of exercise you do (when you do it) is not something you enjoy. It’s important to choose activities you like to do, otherwise the likelihood of sticking with your exercise routine will drop significantly.
Try this: Imagine how you would feel just being goofy, jumping on a trampoline, or dancing in your house like nobody was watching. We are meant to move, and enjoyable exercise feeds your spirit as well as your body.
It’s important to feel good while you are exercising. You’re missing out on an opportunity to enhance your well-being if you go to the gym and hate every minute of it. My husband and I look forward to the brisk walks we take together almost every day. They are not as strenuous as the running workouts I did two years ago while training for a half-marathon, but the combination of mild exertion and fresh air still does us a world of good. And most importantly, we enjoy them!
Moving your body is healthy for every part of you, even your brain
You don’t have to run a half-marathon to see the benefit of exercise. Thirty minutes of exercise on most days of the week is all you need. It doesn’t even have to be thirty minutes all at one time. You can break it up to fit it into your day. Just walking to the car, taking the stairs, or getting up from the desk or the couch every hour is helpful. Even housework counts as exercise!
Moving your body and engaging in regular exercise helps reduce stress, relieve symptoms of depression and anxiety, lose weight, and decrease our risk of heart disease and certain types of cancer. Exercise helps prevent and improve a number of health problems, including high blood pressure, diabetes, and arthritis.
Regular exercise gives you more energy, helps you sleep better, and improves your quality of life. There are many studies on exercise and how it helps increase bone density, and strengthen your heart and lungs. Many people don’t realize how beneficial exercise is for your memory as well as your concentration.
Mental stimulation improves brain function and actually protects against cognitive decline, but so does physical exercise. So if you play games like Sudoku and other brainteasers to improve your brain power, don’t forget to move your body, or you could be missing out on some additional brain benefits.
Bonnie Groessl is a best-selling author, podcast host, holistic nurse practitioner and success coach. Her mission is to educate, empower and facilitate your well-being while nurturing the mind-body-spirit connection. You can find links to her books, guided meditation audios, blog and podcast at www.bonniegroessl.com