We all know the benefits of exercise, but for some reason they are not enough to motivate us to get moving. The health benefits are many- lowers blood pressure and cholesterol, increases stamina, stimulates our lymph system and of course helps with our weight.
Did you know exercise benefits our emotional and brain health also?
1) Reverses the amount of stress- Not only does regular exercise increase the amount of soothing brain chemicals such as Dopamine, saratonin and norepinehrine it also works on the cellular level to reverse the toll of stress and the effect of stress in the aging process. Studies have shown how exercise can alter the blood flow in the brain in areas which tend to relive stressful thoughts and relieves the pattern of reliving them again and again.
2)Lifts Depression- Studies have shown burning 350 calories at least 3 times a week reduces symptoms of depression. It also stimulates the growth of neurons in the brain that have been damaged by depression and boosts production of molecules between the nerve cells acting as a natural anti- depressant. If taking anti-depressants, continue taking them and add exercise to improve even more. They say you must break a sweat to gain these benefits.
3)Improves Learning– Exercise increases the level of brain chemical which actually makes new brain cells and establishes new connections between the brain cells allowing you to learn quicker and retain information. This works best with complicated activities such as a dance class or tennis lesson where you are challenging your brains as well as coordination. Just like muscles our brain cells need some stress to allow it to grow.
4)Builds Self- Esteem– Setting small goals and accomplishing them leads to knowing you have control over your choices and life. Whether it is deciding to walk around to block every day or prepare to run a 5 k, or just walk up the stairs can encourage us to set other goals and meet them. We can feel better about who we are.
5)A Feeling of Euphoria- Hmm this is my favorite. I have never run a marathon to feel that runners high, but can get it with interval training. I can run, bike or swim as fast as possible for 30 seconds, then reduce to a gentle speed for 5 minutes before sprinting again. Repeat 4 times. This give a marvelous runners high that lasts all day long!!
Wow, to me that is motivating to get going! This is why in our quest to wake every day excited about life, our habit of the month of May is get moving!!
So what are you going to do today??