5 (Unexpected) Perks of Exercise
How do you feel when you are sitting still?
Not in a mindful, meditative stillness. But in a slothful, lazybones sorta way.
When you are lethargic, weighed down, unmotivated…
Exactly - you probably feel lethargic, weighed down, unmotivated.
Did you know that exercise can actually fill you with joy? Really, it can! Not only is exercise great for staying in shape, and keeping your organs happy, it can give you a joyful, sometimes euphoric, feeling.
Especially if you approach the physical activity not with dread, but with the intention to connect to something deeper.
Read on to discover…
The Perks of Exercise
1. Improve Mental Health
When we exercise, we release endorphins, also known as the happy hormone (well, by me at least). They have been shown to act as a natural stress and pain relief, and also lead to a feeling of euphoria - a feeling experienced by some athletes, and others - like performers - engaged in extreme physical activity.
I know from my own experience as an actor, when I am performing a part that requires a lot of physical activity, I experience a feeling of joyfulness, fulfillment and being in “the zone” I don’t get from anything else.
2. Boost Your Energy
Sure, you might start out sluggishly, with little enthusiasm, and shortness of breath. But, if you keep at it, get the blood flowing and your heartrate up, you’ll be surprised that your energy level will also increase.
That’s partly due to adrenaline and partly due to the enthusiasm you need to keep going.
3. Flush Out Toxins
Exercise leads to sweating. Sweating leads to detoxification. Detoxification leads to a healthier mind and body.
When we sweat, our bodies clear away nasty stuff that builds up over time. These include heavy metals, certain chemicals, unhealthy bacteria and Bisphenol A (BPA) - an endocrine disruptor commonly found in plastics (which we are all exposed to).
Sweating has also been shown to help the body and mind relax, which can lead to an increased state of well-being. Additionally, it can increase blood circulation and strengthen your cardiovascular system.
So, whenever you exercise, try to work up a good sweat. Or, you can take a hot yoga class and you’ll be sweating in no time.
4. Expand Your World
Starting an exercise routine can open you up to a world of possibilities. Not only will you become much more aware of your body, you might also start to notice things you hadn’t before.
For instance, when you go for a jog or a hike on a sunny day - heck, any day - you will start to really see the trees, admire the landscaping, notice the animal life and breathe in the fragrance of flowers.
Bike riding is another way to experience your world. Not only is it one of the most accessible and essential forms of exercise, it can also take you far and wide. It is a great solo activity or can be enjoyed with a group.
Let the road lead you on a great adventure. Who knows what you’ll discover. Maybe an amazing sunset, a beautiful landscape, or a rugged terrain you thought would be difficult to master until you actually did it.
5. Build Community
The more you exercise (wherever that might be), you’ll start to see the same faces. Interaction might start out slowly, but soon enough you will find yourself talking to others, maybe helping each other and exercising together.
This is a great way to make new connections around something that is good for you, and enjoyable.
NOTE: Before you start an exercise program, we recommend that you consult with your healthcare practitioner and / or a personal trainer. And always be mindful of what your body is telling you.
Anything that gets your body moving, your blood pumping and your heart rate up will help release pressure, and release a feeling of joy through your body.
We really would love to hear about how you feel when you engage in exercise. Leave us a comment below.
Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for upcoming posts.
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