I remember, a long time ago, reading an article that started something like this:
Imagine, if you will, a new pill on the market. This pill, if taken correctly, will give you clear skin, better mental acuity, and more energy. Not only that, it will help reduce your chances of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and other chronic ailments. It will help you lose weight, almost effortlessly. Your mental health will improve.
How much would you pay for that imaginary pill? I could make a killing on it. I would be so freaking rich, I wouldn’t know what to do with it.
The thing is, there’s already a pill out there that does all that. Its a billion dollar industry. People spend money every month on this pill. Heck, I’m spending money on this pill – but I don’t take it correctly. What a waste of money!!
Every day, around 1.30-2pm, I get tired. Bone-weary, eyes won’t stay open tired. So I invest in more coffee, more sugary foods, and push my way through it so I can stay awake until its time to go home at 5. Or I nap, if I’m at home.
I was having two independant conversations with two people who don’ t know each other – and they both said the same thing. So I wondered… what’s making us so tired?
Both talked about the same scenarios… they used to work out daily, but now they don’t. And they’re tired. Me too.
So I got to thinking about that magic pill.
Wait, what? You don’t know what it is yet?
We spend STUPID amounts of money on exercise, exercise equipment, gym memberships, the proper shoes, cuter workout gear, magazines devoted to exercise, and weight loss, diet books, and online websites.
But if we don’t USE those things… we’re wasting money on it. We’re not using the magic pill correctly.
Exercise is free. Everyone has enough space in their house to do situps/crunches, push-ups, squats, lunges and jumping jacks. And we all can walk. Even if its just in one spot. But I digress to an earlier post.
Exercise has SO many benefits, if we only tapped into them.
1. Exercise improves your mood.
Have you ever been in a really bad mood? And then gone for a walk, and come back feeling better? How about when you’re “not quite” sick… but go to the gym, and come home feeling like you’ve shaken that cold? It makes you a happier camper. Try it. Next time you’re feeling out of sorts, go for a walk. Break a sweat. I dare you to go do something physical, and then come back in the bad mood you left in.
2. Exercise combats chronic disease.
Diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, high blood pressure, osteoprosis, colon cancer, back pain… to name a few. If you don’t have a chronic disease, exercise can help prevent them. If you do have one, exercise can help manage it better.
3. Exercise helps manage your weight.
Well…. DUH. You will lose weight faster and replace the fat cells with muscle if you exercise. You can still lose weight through diet alone, but the people I’ve seen do that are soft, and flabby and (in my own personal opinion) less “vital” than those who exercise as part of their weight loss program.
4. Exercise boosts your energy levels.
Walking up stairs leaves me breathless right now. I can get winded jumping explosively out of bed to catch that damn morning alarm before it wakes up hubby. When I was exercising on a regular basis, I could run up my stairs without getting winded. Exercise helps your heart cardiovascular system work more efficiently. You have more energy.
5. Exercise promotes better sleep.
This is almost a no brainer – really – go watch a kid play hard all day. Especially out in the fresh air. Then take him or her home, feed them something healthy, give them a bath, and watch them go comatose for the next 8-10 hours. When you exercise, you wear your muscles out, and they need to rest. You sleep better.
6. Exercise can help with your sex life.
Where did my mojo go? When my oldest (now 21) was a baby, we lived in an apartment building where I made some good friends. She told me that after she had her baby, she got back into shape using sexercise only. (hmmm, I wonder if that would count as my wellness activity???) Sex is physically demanding. Especially monkey sex. And lets face it – when you’re not comfortable with your body, its not like you’re going to be comfortable with another person getting intimate with your body. When you exercise, especially as you learn a new skill, you feel confident, powerful and those things are sexy. And when you feel sexy, you want more sex.
The instructions on the magic pill are simple.
Move. Get out and go for a walk. Do some muscle toning exercises. Do some cardio type exercises.
That’s it. And you’ll reap the benefits listed above. What are you waiting for?
You’re still reading this?
Go outside already!!
Its sunny out… get off the computer and go for a walk!!
I see you still reading this.
Ok, that’s it… you’re getting ridiculous… go play with your kids (or dog or spouse or friends).