Over the last few weeks, I had been out of sorts. I wasn’t sure what it was. Was I sad, mad, depressed… I couldn’t tell you. But what I did know was I was not myself. For years, I had developed a habit of being a positive person. I woke up in the morning and made the decision each day to be happy and make every experience a positive one. Somehow over the last few weeks, I was allowing circumstances to dictate my state of mind instead of allowing my state of mind to determine my circumstances.
I knew something had to change. I just didn’t like myself or my situation. I couldn’t go on like this. I got up Monday morning and started exercising again. Did I mention my workouts had dropped off as well? Anyway, I started with flexibility on Monday. Tuesday, I practiced a dance routine that I have been trying to make my own since I was first introduced to it. Even though I took off yesterday, I have felt rejuvenated like something just happened where my attitude changed and my mood changed. I was happier, smiled more and frankly, I was more fun to be around at work and at home. After just a couple of days of low to moderate exercise, weeks of feelings of melancholy just seemed to disappear.
Why is exercise so important?
I realized quickly that the reason I was feeling down and out is because exercise was slowly disappearing from my daily routine. I went from exercising 5-6 days a week to not exercising at all. This was a huge shock to my body, mind and spirit. What occurs in the body during exercise is pretty phenomenal. Feelings of euphoria that I am experiencing now is due to the endorphins (those “feel-good” hormones) that are released and frankly continue to “simmer” for days afterward to generate a sense that anything is possible and engenders an overall positive attitude.
Sometimes when people talk about exercise, it’s not all about losing weight, gaining muscle and getting 6 pack abs. Frankly, 80-90 percent of those kinds of results come from what you’re doing in the kitchen anyway. Advocating exercising at least 3-5 times a week has a lot to do with keeping you sane in the midst of so much confusion that occurs in everyday life. I know, for me, it keeps me focused at work, I handle problems better and I just feel good after a round of high powered (not necessarily high impact) exercise. When I exercise regularly, something happens in the body that just seems to balance everything out.
I will never go so long without exercise again. Even if it’s just a 15-20 min HIIT or flex training, I’ll make sure that I strive to exercise daily. It’s doesn’t just do the body good, it also gets the mind and soul right as well.