The holidays are a special time when we celebrate with family and friends our appreciation for each other. With shared foods, gifts and celebrations we let those we love know how important they are in our lives. It is also a time we often reflect individually about what we are grateful for. I’d like to share with you what I am grateful for from an exercise perspective.
1. A healthy body creates a healthy mind
Lifelong exercise keeps our brains working better literally! I’m talking regular aerobic exercise,
the kind that gets your heart and your sweat glands pumping. This happens when the size of
your hippocampus( the brain area involved in verbal memory and learning)increases. This
increase helps in the release of chemicals in the brain that affect the health of brain cells, the
growth of new blood vessels in the brain, and even the abundance and survival of new brain
2. Exercise improves strength
It is the gift that keeps on giving. That’s because even after your workout has ended, your body
is still burning more calories. Exercise helps build muscle mass, and muscle tissue burns more
calories — even when you’re at rest.
3. Exercise gives you energy
We all find ourselves breathing heavier and faster during exercise and because of this our
oxygen consumption increases as well as our lung capacity. Over time, your aerobic
capacity increases, allowing you to deliver more and more oxygen to your brain and blood
stream, helping you feel more awake, alert, and ready to go.
4. I feel GREAT
It only takes five minutes to start feeling better. Once you get moving, your brain releases
serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine. These make you feel good and when you feel
good you feel good enough to do anything you want to do. Improved mood, sleep, reduced
stress and anxiety are also benefits that contribute to this wonderful feeling!
5. Exercise can build new friendships
Execise buddies as we all know help us stay focused and keep us on track with our exercise
routines. Another benefit is getting to know people better. Often our long walks, bike rides or
exercise classes bring us in contact with people we otherwise would have never met. This
shared interest of staying health and fit keeps everyone coming back for more.
6. Results keep you motivated
Once you reach your goal it is so much easier to maintain. New lifestyle changes have been in
place for a long enough time that you can continue setting new goals knowing that success is
just around the corner.