So summer is beginning to come to a close. With more demanding work schedules and school schedules on the way, chances are so may your exercise routines! I know it's NFL #gluedtothecouchsundays Season...GO CHARGERS...and y'all are busy ruminating about your Fantasy league drafts...GO CHARGERS...that doesn't give you a reason to disregard your physical and mental health! This post is going to be a number on staying MOTIVATED. The key is to understand and appreciate WHY we exercise. So go ahead and ask yourself..."Why do I exercise?"
If your answer resembled something along the lines of "to look good in the mirror or naked...duhhhh!" I strongly encourage you to dig a little deeper. You might surprise yourself and learn that exercise affects much more than the way you look. What about the way you feel? The way you behave? Your mood? Your social interactions? Your relationships? Exercise affects all of these things. Here is the HOW:
The benefits of exercise for your MENTAL health is just as powerful if not more than for your physical health. When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. Endorphins react with receptors in your brain to reduce your perception of pain. Endorphins trigger your body with a positive feeling and energy similar to "euphoria". For example, regular runners refer to this effect as "runner's high". Neurotransmitters cause the release of endorphins in the brain and spinal cord which bind to the same neuron receptors that bind some pain medicines. Regular exercisers experience elevated mood and self-esteem due to these chemical signals in the brain.
Regular exercise is proven to help:
- reduce stress
- improve sleep
- improve sex drive
- reduce anxiety and depression
- boost self-esteem
- increase metabolism
- increase cardiovascular fitness (strengthens your heart)
- lowers blood pressure
- strengthens bones
- improves muscle tone and strength
These benefits are invaluable and are so important for maintaining a sound body and mind. Personally, I love going for a long run on the beach, not because of the calories I burn, but because of the way it makes me feel. I feel energized, accomplished, happy and rejuvenated after my runs! No matter what your form of exercise is...running, dancing, swimming, pogo-sticking?...do it because you love it and do it for your overall health and happiness! I'm not saying you have to sign up for a gym membership or go online and drop mass bills on Jillian Michael's DVDs...all I'm saying is to MOVE and motivate yourself to accomplish your health and fitness goals :)
Your body is beautiful for the amazing things it can do, not what it looks like! Love and celebrate yourself and your body because you are AWESOMEEEE.
Yours in health,