Wellness Tip of the Day: Consistently thinking about all the reasons you do want to work out and eat healthy foods makes exercising and eating right easier.
I’ve had a few “Thank goodness I work out” moments this week. From digging holes and planting shrubbery, to moving large planters around on the porch, to having to carry my 35-pound dog part of the way home from a walk—I’ve appreciated my strength and stamina.
While studies show that exercise plays an important role in promoting sound physical and mental health, more practically, it also adds to quality of life.
From easily carrying in the groceries to dancing for the sheer joy of it, being physically fit allows you to do and be more of Who you want to be.
Ironically, this isn’t one of the many benefits of exercise that is often cited. Too often we focus on the external reasons to exercise—weight loss or maintenance, a healthier heart, reduced risk of high blood pressure, stronger bones and joints, a stronger immune system, etc.
Those reasons are awesome, but alone they may not be enough to get you out of bed to go move your body.
But what about having the energy or stamina to play with your kids or grand-kids? Getting out and enjoying a hike with your family? Taking on a do-it-yourself project around the house? Or doing anything else you might want to do, like going horseback riding, zip-lining, or canoeing?
All of those activities are easier, safer, and more fun if you consistently move your body.
Even small things make a difference to quality of life, for instance being able to easily carry a box to the attic or basement, hauling the laundry basket, or climbing several flights of stairs.
Life is easier—and just more fun—when you have a strong and powerful body that you’ve developed through regular exercise.
How would your quality of life improve if you were in even better physical shape? How could moving your body help you be more of Who you want to be? How can you use those reasons to get your workout in today?
Together we can do it!
3 Benefits of Exercise You Might Have Forgotten About by Cheers to Well-Being
Photo from www.freedigitalphotos.net
While I am at an all-day training today, I thought I would share this great blog on the benefits of exercise.
Posted on April 28, 2012
Exercise is good for us and we all know it. However, sometimes knowing is not enough to actually get us up off our feet! Here are 3 benefits of exercise that might provide a bit more motivation to get moving.
1. It boosts your energy: When we’re tired, the last thing we want to do is work out. Sometimes going to the gym seems like a chore and we often find ourselves making excuses to avoid going. What I always tell myself when I’m in that state is, “Catherine, remember how good you will feel after!” I don’t think I’ve ever exercised and felt bad afterwards. Sure, I may have felt sore after a work out, but that shows me I’m being productive and makes me feel good. Studies suggest that exercise fights fatigue, so even if it is just hopping on the bike for 20 minutes or going for a 30 minute walk, exercise can give you that extra boost you need to go about your day! You’ll feel re-energized, refocused, and in a better mood, like this girl:
2. It makes you smarter: This Canadian study found that women ages 70-80 with mild cognitive impairment improved their attention, problem-solving, and decision making brain functions by doing resistance training twice a week. Moreover, another study showed that adults ages 55-80 who completed 40 minutes of aerobic exercise 3 times a week increased the size of their hippocampus, the area of the brain involved in memory forming and spacial reasoning. You’re not just working your body when you go for a walk, you’re working and preserving your brain!
3. It improves the sex drive: If you’re somebody looking to revitalize or improve your sex life, exercise may be the answer. There are many studies out there that suggest that exercise can increase sexual response in men and women and decrease the chance of dysfunction. You can also think about it this way: cardio endurance, muscular endurance, and improved strength and flexibility are all benefits of exercise…I think many would agree these all contribute to your sex life, too!
Fitting in a bit of physical activity each day won’t require a huge change in lifestyle, but as you can see, it could go a very long way.
Now, I’m off to the gym!
Read this blog at 3 Benefits of Exercise You Might Have Forgotten About.
Last weekend, I was listening to a teleclasses while eating breakfast, checking and responding to email, contemplating a client session, and reviewing and taking notes on a white paper written by Bruce Schneider on spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical energy.
As I read a passage in “Driving Engagement: Sustaining Success Through Core Energy Dynamics and the Core Energy Coaching Process” suggesting that multi-tasking, stretching oneself too thin, doing too many things at once, and having conflicting demands may impact mental energy, I literally laughed out loud. Guilty on all counts.
How often do you catch yourself focused on or doing more than one thing? Do you ever have conversations where you are so distracted you can’t remember what was discussed? Do your conversations jump around from topic to topic? Do you ever forget what you set out to do because you got distracted by something else?
Often, people blame this on aging or outside influences. In truth, we are fragmenting our own mental energy creating mental stress.
According to Schneider, mental energy involves how much brain power you have available at any given moment, your ability to be present in the moment, and to be alert, focused, and clear. These are necessary for harnessing your mental faculties for decision-making, idea generation, performance–truly all areas of life.
Mental engagement is a matter of focusing your brainpower on a specific goal, role, project, or task. You know you are fully mentally engaged when you are in the reputed “zone” or “flow” where you lose track of time, physical needs, and are totally and joyfully absorbed in what you’re doing.
In a society that encourages split mental focus, is it any wonder that many people are often mentally stressed? Mental stress can be caused by either being too mentally stimulated, or not being mentally stimulated enough. When the mind is stressed, concentration, clarity, focus, creativity, and decision-making suffer.
Fortunately, engaging mental energy—and reducing mental stress—can be learned and practiced. Just like working out you physical muscles improves strength, working out your mental muscles improves clarity and focus.
Ways to work on your mental muscles are to focus on being present in the moment and on doing the task at hand. These can be improved by meditation, setting reminders on your cellphone to return your focus to the moment, or using a mantra, such as my personal favorite, “I’ll feel awesome when this is done.”
Other suggestions are to create clear action plans and remove or minimize distractions. (Hello email, Facebook, and other social media!) The clearer you are about what you need to do to accomplish a goal or task, the more present you will be and the more you can engage your mental faculties.
This is one of the reasons why creating meal plans and workout schedules improves your ability to achieve wellness goals. It reduces mental stress by eliminating ambiguity and improving focus.
How can you identify and eliminate things that keep you from being fully present? How can you practice concentrating on the task or goal at hand? What difference might reducing mental stress have on your ability to meet your goals?
Together we can do it!
Photo by Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
I actually thought about blowing off my work out completely, or if there was another time of day I could get it in. But after a few minutes of this kind of thinking I returned to my reasons Why I want to exercise and follow my plan. I got up.
Having a powerful reason Why you want to achieve a goal will make a huge difference in doing the necessary actions—even when you don’t feel like it, or there are more immediately attractive options calling to you.
One of my best friends is using inspiring her mother during her recovery from cancer as a reason Why she has decided to run a marathon.
She wrote her mom a beautiful letter outlining how running a marathon and recovering from cancer are similar, and how they will be taking on these tough challenges together. That is such a compelling reason Why. You know that on those mornings it’s tough to get out of bed, my friend will be lacing up her running shoes. And her mom will be, too.
Keeping your reason Why front and center is also important, so that when there is an easier choice to make, you remember and can tap into that inner motivation. I keep my goals taped to my computer screen and review my vision and reasons Why daily.
My friend’s mom is getting that letter framed, and you know looking at it every day will inspire her to keep moving forward with her recovery. The day that my friend runs her marathon, they will both be able to look back to where they started and celebrate how far they have come.
What are the reasons you want to achieve your goal? Include the obvious, such as wanting to look good in a swimsuit if your goal is to lose weight, but dig deeper for that reason that resonates with your heart.
Is it to provide a positive example for your kids? It is to be healthy enough to run and play with your grand-kids? Is it to inspire others? Is it to reclaim your life?
What can you do to keep your heartfelt reasons Why front and center in your mind? How can you tap into that resulting emotion to inspire you to take the necessary actions?
Together we can do it!