As the new year approached, came, and went, many people reflected on the year gone by and resolved to make changes in the year ahead. One of the most common changes people vow to make is their exercise habits – and this is definitely a good one! So lets take a look at what exercise can do for you from a holistic viewpoint, “mind, body, and spirit”. It’s never too late to reconsider the commitment you wanted or tried to make.
Exercise is important to maintain weight. The analogy is simple. We must consume calories to fuel our body. If we consume more than we need, we gain weight. Cardiovascular activity is the calorie burner. Aerobic exercise like walking, biking, hiking, and running train the body to become more efficient and improve stamina. The benefits are many –heart health; reduce risk of diabetes, cancer and release of the “feel good” endorphins. Strength training is another component of exercise. Combine this with proper nutrition and aerobic activity and the body becomes a fat burning machine. Whether you are sleeping, working, sitting or exercising. Unfortunately when we age adults can lose up to 5-7 pounds of muscle mass every decade or one and half pound of muscle every year after age 25. Your muscle is a powerful calorie burner, using 40-120 calories per day per pound of muscle! Fat only burns 1-3 calories per day per pound – you do the math!
So we know exercise is great for the body – what does it do for the mind? Researchers show that exercise focuses the brain. A study published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise student athletes proved they were faster thinkers compared with non-athletes. We also know that exercise releases endorphins – you experience a sense of euphoria, calm and wellbeing. Along with these feelings you will also have less anxiety and depression. Exercise is a healthy way of dealing with emotional pain and trauma. It can increase your confidence to deal with emotional challenges and turn your mood into a much more positive one. As your physical strength and emotional health become better developed, so too will your connection to your inner spirit. Our bodies are meant to move, our minds are meant to be active and our spirit needs to feel connected!
On a personal note, I am a member of World Camp/Crossfit. It is the most physically challenging workout I have ever done – I find not only my physical appearance changing – I have found my inner spirit has changed more. I surprise myself daily on what my true capabilities are and it crosses over into every part of my life! Please feel free to come in and ask me about my personal experience.