5 Reasons Exercise is Crucial for a Healthy Mind
When I first started my journey towards a more satisfying and successful life my focus was on why I was experiencing the life I had. For a few years my research was on changing my thinking and the functions of the mind. What I had been missing was the link between physical exercise and my mind. It was that link that was needed to propel me along the way. I have spoken to quite a few people who are laser focused on any and all techniques that could change their minds, but hadn’t had the desire to change their bodies to assist in their goal to change their minds. This will only slow your progress. The body and mind work hand in hand with your spirit to deliver the reality you will experience. Following I’ve listed the 5 benefits to physical exercise that I have experienced for myself during my journey in the hope that this will inform, inspire, and help you gain momentum towards your #lifecreated.
1.Develops Your Will Power – During any physical fitness program you will reach moments of fatigue in which your self talk turns from “Go get them tiger” to “Nobody is watching,lets just say we ran a mile”. In that moment you will face your greatest enemy……yourself. You will be relentless in the thoughts and ideas of just giving up. Some days you will win and you will finish your work out. Others you will lose and you will walk away feeling defeated. It’s the struggle that develops your will power muscle. Like exercising any muscle your will power will be weak at first, but as you win more and more battles your will power will grow and you will learn how to stifle the voice in your head and keep moving.
2.Increases Your Self Esteem – No matter what type of exercise routine you use I can assure you, you will not see results the same day you start, but in two weeks of hard training you will see small changes. Focus on the changes and your accomplishments. Start a fitness journal and keep track of you benchmarks such as weight loss, body fat %, or miles walked/run. Your successes will build upon each other and when you look in the mirror you will start to see your successes not your failures. Building self esteem is critical to future success in all areas of your life plan. Believing you can accomplish is the first step towards accomplishing.
3.Increased Body Image – this one ties in with the previous benefit as body image is directly tied in with your own self esteem. Feeling comfortable about your body and how you look isn’t about some narcissistic view of the world. Everyone has a body image. What is important is that you reach a comfort level about what you look like to others and how they perceive you. Again comfortable is key. As you move forward on your journey, you will come to realize that what others think isn’t important and the life and body you create is for you to enjoy.
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit.- Aristotle
4.Develops Habits of Self Development – It was Aristotle who said, “ We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit.” Placing yourself on a training schedule sets your mind to the task of development. It instills the idea that at this specific time I’m going to focus on working on myself. The change will be difficult at first but soon you will appreciate the time to reflect on your goals and how you will achieve them. Plan on scheduling your workouts at least a week in advance, and your monthly goals at the end of the current month for the next month. I use Sunday as my day of reflection, scheduling, and goal setting. It preps me for the week and I can visualize the workouts and achieving my goals at the end of the month. Start with scheduling workouts and goal setting periods. Then add into your calendar the other priorities to achieving your desired life. Schedule your highest priority items first and follow down the list. Having a workout plan is the beginning of building a schedule towards achievement.
5. Changes Your Brain Chemistry – It’s probably no surprise that a good workout changes your brain chemistry. Increased blood flow and oxygen to the brain is only the beginning. A consistent workout regimen has shown to increase cognitive function, memory, and motor skills. “Plasticity” of the brain is increased as well as a decrease in the risk of dementia. Neuron growth, stress coping, and behavioral control are also increased. More importantly aerobic exercise is known to be a long term antidepressant and a short term euphoria.
The type of physical exercise you chose is going to depend on your physical abilities, your location and advice from your physician. Always check with your doctor before you start any type of physical training. My journey has led me from walking to aerobics and light weights and now at 52, I started weightlifting. I find weightlifting to be my favorite as it encompasses many forms of strength training and aerobic exercise, as well as a healthy diet and rest. I encourage you to examine the variety of physical exercise out there and find what suits your needs best. Something else you might try is to ask your friends and relatives what they do to workout and if it’s something you haven’t tried, tag along with them and enjoy a new experience.
If you enjoyed this article please follow, share and contact me. Also check out the recommended page for books that have been inspiring, educational, and motivational to me during my journey of self discovery and my desire to have a #lifecreated.