You know how they say exercise is good for the mind? Well, this past week I realized how very much this is true.
As you all know by reading my blog (thank you, thank you, thank you) I am a self-defined gym rat. I love to lift weights. I like to come home from the gym sore and sweaty. And when I can’t, when my gym routine needs to be altered, I am not happy.
So this week, I have not been a happy person. Ask my husband.
I did something stupid at the gym on Sunday and pulled something in my back. Do you think I went home after pulling it? Stupid question. No, I worked through the pain for the hour. Then went home and kinda mentioned that I may have hurt my back.
I have relied on Advil and Platinum Strength Robaxacet for 5 days now. On Monday, I modified my boot camp class workout but really should not have done anything because after class, I was so sore. Tuesday I walked on the treadmill for an hour…of course at a speed that probably was too much for my back. I was almost in tears as I stretched after that. Wednesday, during class, I stayed on the bike and yelled at my classmates the exercises they were to do. I hate doing that. And today, back on the treadmill, slower pace, for 45 minutes. I watched all the people in front of me with their squats and presses and pulls and it makes me sad.
I know…I know…it’s best for me to do what I am doing and let myself heal. I’m seeing my osteopath tomorrow and looking for him to fix me like he did with my ribs.
But delving deeper into this is not just my silly woe is me attitude. I am really seeing how my training routine brings me into a happy place. I am not alone.
“The physical benefits of exercise—improving physical condition and fighting disease—have long been established, and physicians always encourage staying physically active. Exercise is also considered vital for maintaining mental fitness, and it can reduce stress. Studies show that it is very effective at reducing fatigue, improving alertness and concentration, and at enhancing overall cognitive function. This can be especially helpful when stress has depleted your energy or ability to concentrate.
When stress affects the brain, with its many nerve connections, the rest of the body feels the impact as well. So it stands to reason that if your body feels better, so does your mind. Exercise and other physical activity produce endorphins—chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers—and also improve the ability to sleep, which in turn reduces stress. Meditation, acupuncture, massage therapy, even breathing deeply can cause your body to produce endorphins. And conventional wisdom holds that a workout of low to moderate intensity makes you feel energized and healthy.
Scientists have found that regular participation in aerobic exercise has been shown to decrease overall levels of tension, elevate and stabilize mood, improve sleep, and improve self-esteem. Even five minutes of aerobic exercise can stimulate anti-anxiety effects.”
Courtesy of https://adaa.org/
I have often said exercise is not just good for the body. It REALLY is good for the soul!! It makes me feel good; it makes me feel more confident and strong. It’s a powerful thing!
I can’t wait to get back at it! I can’t wait to feel that sense of energy and motivation!
I promise, next time, to know my place with my barbells – after all they are heavier than I am.
See you at the Squat Rack (eventually) ~
Join my Fall Health and Wellness Challenge – email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for details! Challenge closes Oct 11th.