We just got back from vacationing in the Outer Banks and had a wonderful, relaxing time (it’s also why I haven’t posted in a few weeks!) The one thing I did not do while we were gone was exercise – and now I’m feeling it!
I’m sure we all know how important it is to exercise. But if you’re like me, some days it can be difficult to get motivated to exercise (or even get out of bed 🙂 ) But when I do get up and get moving, I always feel better! I try to remind myself of that good feeling on the days when I drag my feet. I also try to remind myself of the numerous health benefits that come with regular exercise. When I think about these benefits, I’m much more motivated to get moving. Here are my top 3 favorites:
Exercise is a powerful anti-depressant.
When we exercise, our bodies release chemicals called endorphins, which are our “feel good” hormones. These endorphins lessen our perception of pain, help reduce anxiety, strengthen our hearts, lower our blood pressure, and improve the quality of our sleep (all important factors when it comes to fighting depression). Studies have shown regular physical exercise to be as effective at treating depression as anti-depressant drugs. And the only side effects you’ll have to worry about are increased energy, better sleep, and a more toned body!
Exercise is a key ingredient to weight loss.
The two key ingredients to any weight loss or weight management program are eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise. If you are only doing one of these, you are only fighting half the battle. I used to eat junk food and then try to make up for it by working out more. This may have worked in my twenties but not so much in my thirties! I wasn’t giving my body the clean fuel that it needed to function at its best. I have learned that I feel my best when I am eating a clean diet of fresh, organic foods, and exercising at least 4 – 5 times a week. I have also found that mixing up my workouts is key – strength training one day, aerobics the next, pilates and some form of stretching. It doesn’t have to be boring. Find what you love and fit it regularly into your schedule. You will really start to see and feel the difference!
Exercise protects the body from numerous diseases.
Exercise gets our hearts pumping and our blood flowing, helping to improve circulation throughout our bodies, including our brains. It helps to balance insulin levels, keeping our blood sugar in check. It detoxifies our bodies, getting impurities out when we sweat. There is really no disease that exercise cannot help protect the body against. These include:
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Heart Disease
Exercise is one of the best preventive measures you can take to protect your body against all kinds of health problems – and it’s free! And it’s never too late to start. I’ve read inspiring stories of people in their 70’s beginning an exercise regimen and completely turning their health around. How did they do it? They made the choice to get up and get moving.
How can you do it? You don’t need expensive equipment or gym memberships (unless you want them). You can begin by going for a brisk walk in your neighborhood or working out to DVDs or the internet in the privacy of your home. If you’re feeling more social, get a girlfriend to exercise with you. Check out classes at your local YMCA and see what interests you. Be adventurous! Let me know in the comments or contact me directly if you’d like for me to create a Youtube Workout Schedule (this schedule would give you the exact video to workout to on specific days, getting rid of any guess work). There are numerous videos that will help to get you in shape in no time – all for free.
So praise God for the gift of being able to move your body, and then get moving!