Can I let you in on a secret?
About a month ago, I made the decision to make my health a greater priority this year. I walked back into the gym to which I have had a membership but not attended for several months. With some mild fear and trembling, I walked up to the weigh-in scale holding my breath afraid of the number I would see which would attest to my lack of self-care in recent months. But I made the decision that no matter what the scale announced, I was going to celebrate my re-commitment to my health and well-being.
What do I mean by “Get Out?”
Physical exercise helps guard against physical ailments as diseases. Regular physical exercise is beneficial to overall physical health. It has been shown to help prevent and in some cases reverse medical conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and arthritis.
Physical exercise boosts our energy level. Many people when they are struggling with physical or mental health conditions, lack energy and motivation. When we need the energy most, we often have the least. It takes energy to make ourselves exercise, but once you begin exercising, you will reap the benefit of increase energy.
Physical exercise also helps control our weight. Regular exercise both helps prevent weight gain, but also helps maintain weight loss. Although putting it into action can pose a challenge for some, the equation is simple: the more one exercises, the more calories that are burned, less weight is gained.
Exercise improves our mood. Research shows that as little as 15 minutes of exercise a day can impact our brain chemistry and improve our mood. When we feel down, it’s hard to think clearly and both our brain and body go into a lull because of insufficient neurotransmitter production. Neurotransmitters are those naturally occurring chemicals in our brain that help stabilize our mood, help sustain attention and concentration, regulate our hormones, and much more.
But we can help counteract that with exercise because physical exercise helps increase the production of our mood-regulating chemicals. When I begin to feel down or fatigued, one of the first questions I have to ask myself is “When was the last time I exercised?” because I can tell a difference in my mood and energy level when I haven’t exercised recently.
I would encourage you to pick some form of physical activity that you enjoy. When we engage in physical activity we enjoy, we’re more likely to continue doing it. My brother is a triathlete, and I can tell you that there isn’t anything about that that I enjoy. But I enjoy walking, swimming in the summer, and I even tried roller blading for something new.
Exercise helps regulate our sleep. Exercise uses up physical energy that can make it difficult to sleep at night. It also helps in the regulation of the sleep-wake cycle. A word of caution is in order, however, because exercising too close to bedtime can be counterproductive as the increased energy from exercising can make it difficult to fall asleep in a timely manner.
Another reason for “Getting Out” is to ensure you get enough sunlight which helps us manufacture Vitamin D. Sufficient vitamin D can improve our mood, ward off feelings of weariness, and help ward off physical illnesses and ailments. Many in the northern climates struggle with seasonal disorders, in large part due to decreased sunlight exposure and vitamin D production.
Getting out also provides uninterrupted time to converse with God. This is when I have some of my best conversations, and I’m not interrupted by social media, housework calling my name, or people at the office needing me for something. Getting out helps take the focus off myself and puts it back on God, the great physician.
Remember to check with your doctor before starting any new kind of physical activity, especially if you haven’t exercised for a long period of time or if you have any kind of medical condition. Once you’re received your doctor’s go ahead to exercise, I would encourage you to pick some form of physical activity that you enjoy. When we engage in physical activity we enjoy, we’re more likely to continue doing it. My brother is a triathlete, and I can tell you that there isn’t anything about that rigorous event that I enjoy. But I enjoy walking, throwing the frisbee, and bicycling with my children.
What kind of exercise are you willing to commit to doing this week?
Replay of Free Webinar – 10 Tips to Beat the Blues
Do you or a loved one suffer from the blues?
I recently hosted a Free Educational Webinar with 10 practical tips to offer help and hope to beat the blues. I had so much feedback of lives that were touched, I decided to offer a Replay of the Webinar so that others could also be encouraged.
Here’s what some attendees have had to say:
“Your personal examples made you believable and relatable. It was practical and excellent advice and I know people were helped and encouraged.” – Cindy
“All of your hard work showed in the presentation. Your voice is so compelling with a touch of authority, yet your sweet personality came through when you called out the names of those who had questions or comments. Each tip is filled with wisdom and motivation.” – Carolyn
“What a mighty work God has done and your story is a testimony for anyone being stirred to spread her wings but feels the downward pull of an enemy at risk, an enemy defeated!” – Margie
For more information, click on the image.
(If you have a question you’d like Dr. B to answer, contact her here now. Your name and identity will be kept confidential.)