I have almost obsessively shared the health benefits of exercise with my clients, friends and family alike - yes, I do have a little bit of an obsessive compulsive side. Today I want to go a step further and discuss one very powerful reason (and possibly a lifesaving one) why you should include exercise in your daily routine: to beat stress. North America is guilty of encouraging a culture that is not valuing the family like it use to, instead pushing for 60 hour work weeks in high pressure careers. Stress alone is responsible for an increase in disease, illness and sick days. Break this habit and become more proactive about your health. Exercise in ANY form - from Yoga to Crossfit - can act as a stress reliever, boosting feel good endorphins and giving you a moment of “me” time – a moment to focus on doing good for your mind & body. Making time (even if it’s only 15 minutes a day) for exercise will go a long way toward stress management. Regular exercise gets you feeling better, healthier, and increases overall vitality; let’s go over some direct stress-busting benefits:
· It pumps up your endorphins (the brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters)
· It’s meditation in motion (dedicating whatever time you have during the day to exercise allows you to focus on a single task, releasing daily tension through this focus, and leaving you with calm & clarity, plus a renewed sense of optimism and energy)
· It improves your mood (regular exercise can increase self-esteem, self-confidence & increase positive thinking)
You have to start somewhere, so start small. And start today. Book your workout, your “me” time, in your planner as you would any other appointment. Do that at the beginning of your week if you can, or the start of each day. Do what you love. If you love Yoga, take a class, follow a DVD, or check out Youtube. Check your local gyms, clubs and private studios for a variety of exercise classes and workouts offered at different times throughout the day, and varied intensity levels. Hire a Personal Trainer, even if it's just for 1 session/week - they should supply you with independent workouts to do on your own time. Whatever it is, keep it up. Stay committed to making exercise part of your day. Switch up your routine if you start to feel bored or unmotivated. Make your health a priority, and do it now.
Until next time, get FIT!