I hate exercise. Not the act itself. That part I like. I am willing to endure the suffering of the hard work out in order to reap the benefits that come after, but for me, like many others, it’s the commitment of time that discourages me. I would just rather be doing something else.
But it’s not a negotiation. The benefits are undeniable. The physical effects of regular exercise are widely studied. It’s almost criminal that physical fitness is not part of our health care system of disease prevention.
The mental health benefits of regular exercise are evident, although seemingly less studied in depth. The fact is, we’re just learning how the brain really works, so up until recently, there’s been a lot of bad “science” and pretty Woo-woo kind of mystical dogma around the links between physical and mental health, it more and more we are learning that we can keep our minds healthier through physical work.
The mental health benefits here are obvious to me. Aside from the neurochemical release of hormones, dopamine, benefits to testosterone, better blood flow, and oxygenation to the brain, there are other benefits. Lower anxiety, scheduled routine building, less screen time. All of these come along with the pursuit of a healthier lifestyle. Our own bodies make the chemicals out brain needs for positive mental health outcomes if we make the right choices.
I’m no fitness guy. I struggle with it as much as the next person, but I have been down the road enough to see the benefits for me when I’m doing what I should. It doesn’t take an hour a day. Start with 15 mins of body weight exercises every other day. Start with a 20-minute wall after supper. You’ll know when you’re ready to try for more.
As we get more fit, our confidence builds , our anxiety decreases, and our bodies and minds become more resilient. I know own I’m not staving off aging, but if I can round the edges just a little bit, then the hard work is worth it.
I hope you all have a great week.