This week, I have been feeling weird. Not go to the Doctor weird but just blah. I worried if it was my diabetes or something new. I’d been traveling last week and didn’t get in all my exercise time. It rained the rest of the week which meant even less exercise. When I woke up, everything hurt. My mind was cloudy, feet felt swollen and I was pretty mad at EVERYBODY in my life. I just felt bad. I couldn’t stand it anymore. I found my tennis shoes and got to stepping! 90 minutes later I felt like myself again. What was it? My body missed my exercise! Here are reasons just to make sure you move your body to ensure your mental well being:
Sharpen your memory: Regular physical activity boosts memory and ability to learn new things. Getting sweaty increases production of cells in hippocampus responsible for memory and learning. Working out can boost memory for all ages.
Alleviate anxiety: Hopping on the track or treadmill for some moderate-to-high intensity aerobic exercise can reduce anxiety sensitivity. And we thought intervals were just a good way to burn calories! This is totally how I make sure I am feeling my best.
Help control addiction: The brain releases dopamine, the “reward chemical” in response to any form of pleasure, be that exercise, sex, drugs, alcohol, or food. Unfortunately, some people become addicted to dopamine and dependent on the substances that produce it, like drugs or alcohol (and more rarely, food and sex). On the bright side, exercise can help in addiction recovery.
Tap into creativity: Most people end a tough workout with a hot shower, but maybe we should be breaking out the colored pencils instead. A heart-pumping gym session can boost creativity for up to two hours afterwards. Next time you need a burst of creative thinking, hit the trails for a long walk or run to refresh the body and the brain at the same time. My best work is done right after my work out in the morning.
Quote of the week: Food is the most abusive anxiety drug. Exercise is most underutilized antidepressant.