The Benefits of Exercise for Your Mind, Body, and Spirit
Everyone has at least a basic understanding of how amazing exercise can be for your mind, body, and spirit, but do you really know all of the ways that you are improving yourself when you take the steps to be active? Although holidays, birthdays, weddings, and New Years are always great excuses to start trying to better yourself, you can start a new workout regime whenever you want! What better excuse than to make yourself a happier, healthier person?
Exercise helps, most obviously, your body. After even just a few days (even if that just means taking a nice long walk with friends), changes are obvious: your skin gets a healthier glow to it, your muscles are more toned, your stamina will begin to get higher, even your waist might begin to slim down. Just a little bit of extra exercise every day can make a huge impact on how your body processes and metabolizes food. As you increase your metabolism, your body will be better able to process food and create energy for you to do all of the things that you want to do! Think about that: just fifteen to thirty extra minutes every day could help you to be able to eat the food that you love and feel great about it.
The fact that your body will be healthy isn’t even the best part about getting regular exercise. Along with feeling energized and fit all day, you will also feel significantly happier. It is proven that exercising regularly releases chemicals called endorphins into your brain. Maybe you’ve heard of a “runner’s high?” That euphoric feeling is helped along by endorphins! These great little chemicals help you to feel happy and energized, as well as continue to have a positive outlook on life. Along with the great kick you’ll feel from endorphins, it is also shown that exercise and self-confidence are positively linked. Individuals that workout are much more in touch with their body and thus notice small differences better than other people may. For that reason, they are significantly more confident, and know better what kind of clothing suits them and, conversely, what doesn’t. Positive body image is something that greatly helps with overall happiness and positive attitude.
So, now we’ve covered how exercise helps your mind and body, but what about your spirit? Exercising gives you a sense of purpose and control where otherwise you might not have it. Some people find that by adding the time to their day to do their exercise, they are also adding the time to think. Many people tack on an extra fifteen minutes or so, to do their stretching or some yoga, and find that it helps them mentally organize and de-stress themselves. In this world that we live in, it can be very difficult to find time to yourself, let alone time during which you are able to relax and really prioritize what it important for you. Organization is very important to the human psyche, and it is shown that people with good time-management skills are much more productive than people who do not have them.
For people who are spiritual, yoga, stretching, running, or even biking can provide the quiet time that they need to commune with whatever power is closest to them. I know, from personal experience, that when I am biking it is one of the most ideal times to focus in on myself and what is important to me. If you were to set aside some time for yourself to do an activity on your own, you could probably do that to!
Obviously it is not in everyone’s time budget to exercise every day, but even just doing so a few times a week is a great start! Keep in mind that different exercises work for different people: running five miles right from the start may not be a good idea if you have been sitting on the couch all winter. Take it slow and make sure that you find a type of exercise that is right for you, and makes you feel good. Remember, no matter how much work you have to do, you should still set time aside to appreciate yourself and love the body you have been given.