5 Key Benefits of Regular Exercise

Life since the pandemic has been stressful for everyone. Parents are struggling to teach their children at home, and college students are failing classes. Many people have lost their jobs and can’t provide for their families.

If you’ve been cooped up at home, you’ve probably also stopped getting out to exercise as much. Getting your body healthy can help you recover from recent events, both mentally and physically. Fitness is good for your whole body as well as your mind. When you exercise, your brain releases endorphins. The endorphins give you what some people call a “runner’s high.” They make you feel good about life, can help relieve stress, and dull minor aches and pains. 

When you’re feeling down, exercise may seem like the last thing on your mind. Maybe you just want to curl up under the covers and feel sorry for yourself. We all have days like that.
But forcing yourself to get up and move is the best thing you can do, and it will make you feel better faster than any other remedy. 

To help you on your journey, this guide offers reasons to use an exercise routine to help you stay on track with your new healthy lifestyle.

Relieve stress

When your brain is going 100 mph and you’re worrying about work, the kids, finances and other stressors, physical activity will help calm you down. According to the National Health Service, exercise is one of the best ways to lower stress and anxiety. It can be doubly beneficial to exercise in nature, and hikes are a great way to do that. Next time you go camping, be sure to pack a cooler full of supplies, a sturdy tent, and your best hiking boots to take advantage of your time in nature.

Benefit from meditation-like rewards

Some people call exercise “meditation in motion” because it helps your brain focus on the task at hand—putting one foot in front of the other. While you’re running, you’re thinking of foot placement, breathing, getting to the next street corner, avoiding uneven pavement, and a host of other things. This takes your mind off whatever you were stressing about, and it helps you gain mental clarity. Studies have shown that combining physical exercise and meditation can help those with serious depression and anxiety.

It can be beneficial to have a dedicated space in your home for engaging in meditative exercise, such as your backyard. If you’re planning to work out/meditate in your backyard, you may wish to spruce it up to create a more positive environment. This can include tweaking the landscaping—if, for example, you want to bring more sunlight to your space, consider hiring a local tree removal service to gain more light. Create a positive, relaxing environment for yourself.

Boost confidence 

When you complete a goal in your exercise regimen, such as running a 5k, lifting a particular weight level, or dropping a certain number of pounds, you get a feeling of accomplishment that makes it easier to face tough times. Little achievements set you up for big successes. Just knowing that you have worked so hard on something can propel you to continue on your path to happiness.

Change your life

If you’re feeling bored or hopeless, exercise might be just the thing you need. Setting up an exercise plan could help you change your life for the better. Lindsay Patton-Carson from Huffington Post explains that exercising helped her kick bad habits, crave better foods and feel more motivated. It seems daunting, but once you get started, it is pretty easy. It also puts your mental focus on your new, healthy body instead of your old habits.

Soothe anger issues

People going through difficult life events often have anger issues. Anger is usually caused by feeling overwhelmed by several stressors at one time. When things pile up, it’s easy for people to react with anger. Fortunately, studies have shown that exercise can help curb anger issues. If you start to feel angry, going for a run or walk can take the edge off and help you understand where those feelings are coming from instead of lashing out at your loved ones. 

Use tech to enhance your fitness

While nothing beats the personalized approach of working out with a trainer, there are some days when you won’t be able to make it to the gym. Thanks to technology, this doesn’t mean you have to put your workouts on hold. For example, if you don’t have a treadmill at home, you can go jogging in your neighborhood with just your smartphone and an app that helps you stay on pace.

Similarly, if you can’t make it to your favorite yoga studio, there are thousands of free videos you can stream on YouTube. Find one on your phone that accommodates your fitness level and connect it to your TV with a Chromecast device. It’s the next best thing to doing downward dogs in a class setting.

Of course, always talk to your doctor first. Work with your doctor to find a good program tailored to your fitness and health level. From there, just get moving. Start small, like walking, then move up to more challenging activities as you get stronger and healthier.

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