why exercise is so important to feel great

Exercise equipment.jpg

You probably know by now that lack of physical activity is a major risk factor for being overweight. Being overweight, in turn, is a major risk factor for many chronic and debilitating diseases. But even if you manage to stay at a relatively healthy weight without getting enough physical movement, you're at higher risk for many of the following health conditions:

  • Osteoporosis
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Stroke
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Coronary (heart) disease
  • Poor immune system function
  • Poor sleep 
  • And much more

We've all seen and likely admired the joy and fun children show when they are running, jumping, climbing and playing. You may think that they have so much energy because they are young. And while that may be true to a certain extent, it is also true that all the running, jumping, playing and joy gives them energy. Movement is vital to life. 

When you think of exercise, what comes to mind? Dancing? Yoga? Hiking? Biking? Running? Playing tennis or basketball? The best exercise is the one that you want to and will do on a regular basis. Mix it up and try different activities. Learn a new sport to increase your brain power (Read this post and this post to learn more ways to keep your brain young and spry).

More benefits of exercise:

  • Increases blood flow and circulation, giving your skin a healthy glow and promoting cellular health
  • Reduces the harmful effects of chronic stress (Read this post to learn more ways to reduce stress)
  • Helps you sleep better. Good sleep is critical to health and energy
  • And much much more

The most important thing is that you MOVE. YOUR. BODY. Every day.

It can be as simple as taking your dog (or a neighbor's dog!) for a walk. Or ask a co-worker to take a walk with you at lunch. This has the added benefit of social interaction, another major positive factor in reducing stress and increasing long-term health and vitality.

Invite a friend to take a class at your local gym with you. Take a walk around the block with your partner or another family member. Play tag with your kids. Play with a friend's kids! The possibilities are endless, so choose something and get moving! 

Your Challenge for today is to commit to one small step to MOVE your body and life forward. Write it in your calendar and make a date with yourself. Share in the comments what you commit to! I'd love to hear your plan! 

If you’re already working out regularly and you’re ready for it, try interval training! Any exercise can be turned into interval training by increasing the speed or intensity of the exercise to 80% for short bursts (20 - 30 seconds) followed by a recovery time (30 seconds to one minute). Try 4 - 10 rounds and find out how great it makes you feel.  

Remember, movement does more than just help heal your body. It gives you hope and joy, combats anxiety, lessens depression and makes you smarter.