I’m sure you’ve probably heard it before but there are truly benefits to exercise. Exercise can start to put you in charge of your physical and mental health. Can you imagine being able to take control of your feelings, your emotions, and your physical self? How empowered would that make you feel? Let’s take a look at how you can actually put yourself in the driver seat for your future…
We’ve all heard it before, time and time again, that regular exercise is good for you. It can help you lose weight, feel better, live longer, etc. But, if you’re like so many others out there you’re wondering when you have the time to put in just to exercise. You’re busy. You have work and family and events to go to and maybe you commute to work and let’s not forget all the things you have to do at your home like laundry, dishes, you know, all that adulting stuff.
You’re right, you are busy. But we are all busy. Life is going to be hard. Life is going to be busy. Life is … well, life. Stop putting off things that are important … like your health! Imagine if you keep putting off you and your health and you keep pressing on with your stresses of life and then one day you crash, maybe there’s a tragic accident or maybe you end up so sick because you’ve been going full force in life and not taking any time to take care of your health. What happens then? What happens when you crash and burn? All that going and pushing won’t be worth it at all if that’s where you end up. Trust me, I’ve been there, and it’s a constant reminder to myself that I need to put myself and my health first … because that makes it so much easier for me to help other people get healthy!
One of the things I do for my health is exercise. I don’t schedule my entire life around it but I make sure I get some intensity of exercise at least 4 days a week and then on the off days, I’m usually out being active doing something else. I didn’t start off there and you don’t have to either. Start out with a goal you can achieve and then work up from there. As you start to exercise, you’ll start to feel better, and then you’ll inadvertently end up exercising more because you feel so great. Makes for a fun investment in your health, doesn’t it?
So, what are the benefits of exercise?
- Control Your Weight. Preventing obesity has a huge impact on the health of your organs including your heart, lungs, liver, and brain.
- Reduce Your Risk of Heart Disease. Regular exercise has been shown to strengthen your heart and improve your circulation. Increasing your blood flow will increase the oxygen levels in your blood which help to lower your risk of heart diseases.
- Manage Blood Sugar Levels. Exercise has been shown to lower blood sugar levels; this can reduce your risk for metabolic syndrome.
- Strengthen Your Bones and Muscles. Resistance exercise has been shown to build strong bones and slow the loss of bone density that comes with age.
- Improve Your Mood. When you exercise, your body releases chemicals that help your body relax, deal with stress, and reduce your risk of depression.
- Strengthens Your Mind. Chemicals released during exercise also help to improve the structure and function of your brain.
- Improve Your Sleep. Exercise will help you fall asleep faster and get a more restful sleep.
- Improve Your Sexual Health. Exercise has been shown to increase sexual arousal.
Now that you just some of the benefits of exercise are you wanting to make it part of your life? I hope so!
But, you may still be thinking about all the other responsibilities you have and wondering how you can make exercise a part of your day.
Here are some ideas:
- Make Everyday Changes. Every little change you make is an effort for your health worth celebrating.
- Take the stairs.
- Park in the back of the parking lot at the store.
- Walk to a coworker’s office rather than call or sending an email.
- Wash your own car.
- Get off the couch during commercials and walk around your house.
- What other little changes can you think to start doing?
- Involve Your Friends and Family. Making sure your friends and family are aware of your goals to become more active will help them get in your corner to support you. Ask them to help you stay motivated and on track. You may also want to solicit at least one person to do something with you; maybe go to the gym or a yoga class or walk around the park.
- Keep A Journal. Keeping track of your progress will help you set your goals and keep you motivated. It’s a great tool to use to look back and see how far you’ve come
- Make An Excuse Jar. This is a jar you put aside and for every excuse you come up with to not exercise you put a $1 in the jar. This isn’t a form of savings but rather a way to help you bring awareness to everything you’re saying and doing that is preventing your own healthy lifestyle. Once you become aware of every little excuse then you’ll start to learn how to incorporate exercise in no matter what.
- “I don’t have time” = $1.
- I found the easiest way to change this excuse was to say to myself “I’ve decided I don’t have time for my health because my health is not a priority.” Of course I wanted my health to be a priority so it was a serious slap in my own face to hear me tell myself I wasn’t a priority.
- “I’m tired” = $1.
- Exercise will actually end up giving you more energy. The hardest step to take is the first one. Try adding your exercise time in the morning, even if you have to wake up 30 minutes earlier; it’s been proven that morning exercise will help you have more energy during the day.
- “I have to get the kids to practice” = $1.
- Get involved in your kid’s fun, if you can. If it’s not something you can run around and play with them when they’re at practice then drop them off and run around and play in the parking lot while you wait for them to burn off their energy.
- “I don’t have time” = $1.
Are you ready to put your health first and get started on your new exercise plan? I hope so!
I am excited to help you on your journey!
Have an Abundantly Healthy day, and, until next time …
Dr. Cori Campbell, Physical Therapist, Holistic Wellness Coach