Exercise – Get Started!!!
Exercise is critical for multiple reasons. It is excellent for the heart, the body, and the mind and therefore, the soul. In order to do anything that takes discipline and effort, one needs to get “leverage” on themselves. There has to be a compelling motivation that starts the ball rolling.
Newton’s First Law of Motion is “an object either remains at rest or continues to move at a constant velocity, unless acted upon by a force.” So you have to figure out WHY it is imperative to act upon ourselves with enough mental, emotional and physical force to get ourselves moving. If losing weight was enough of a motivation, you would have done this long ago! It has to be about being healthy.
Let’s look at why it benefits us to move in a purposeful way. I actually googled benefits of exercise on the mind body and soul:
“The benefits of exercise come directly from its ability to reduce insulin resistance, reduce inflammation, and stimulate the release of growth factors—chemicals in the brain that affect the health of brain cells, the growth of new blood vessels in the brain, and even the abundance and survival of new brain cells.”
“But exercise is also one of the most effective ways to improve your mental health. Regular exercise can have a profoundly positive impact on depression, anxiety, ADHD, and more. It also relieves stress, improves memory, helps you sleep better, and boosts overall mood.”
“Frequent and regular physical exercise boosts the immune system, and helps prevent the disease affluence such as heart disease, cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes and obesity. Exercising the skeletal system helps increase bone density within young men and women.”
So let’s break all of that down. What does that mean for you? Clearly, exercise reduces stress and therefore alleviates anxiety. It releases endorphins that create feelings of happiness and euphoria. Even people who are clinically depressed report marked improvement in their state through exercise. They are also more able to relax and sleep better at night.
Exercise also improves self-confidence because as your body begins to respond to the self care of movement, it gets stronger and more supple and functions at such a higher level of movement that you can’t help but feel good about yourself.
If you move powerfully, you feel powerful. Conversely, If you stand or move as if you are defeated, you feel defeated. So stand tall, look straight ahead, not down, pull your shoulders back and “own” you.
Exercise is also very important if you have issues with regulating your food consumption. It can help control food cravings by releasing dopamine, which is the “reward chemical” associated with pleasure. This means we are less likely to physically crave sugar which is a big culprit behind excess weight. It is said that 70-80% of weight loss has to do with what we consume but exercise can help us regulate that. In addition, it helps make the body operate at a much higher level in terms of utilizing the food we do intake because the metabolism is positively affected.
How does one get started? My personal experience is that I had to pick one thing to do. I started with weightlifting with a trainer because I was so intimidated by the gym. I committed my word and my money to meeting with him twice a week. That was four years ago. I went from doing nothing to weightlifting, adding in kickboxing cardio classes, yin yoga, hiking, boxing, and dancing. In other words, I went from zero movement to moving my body 4-10 times a week doing only things I love. I am stronger and more confident than I have ever been.
One last note, exercise can be fun. It is a joy. It is confidence building and powerful and an integral part of a happy life. Pick things you love to do but do it no matter what. Schedule you into your life by scheduling your exercise. For you. Just twenty minutes a day can change your life.
You deserve this and you deserve to have your “human vehicle,” i.e., your body, on your side, supporting you in your dreams, not deterring from them. Think about it. If we are at war with ourselves physically, we are wasting an enormous amount of life energy just trying to get to an even playing field. Imagine the synergy of a healthy body with a healthy mind. The sky’s the limit!