As I write this post, I am convicted of hypocrisy. I haven’t done well in this area for awhile. But what I am saying is still true. Maybe it will get through to me.
This and eating in a healthy way are two things that are the best things you can do for your body. Since I have done ok in this area in the past, I can attest to the benefits of exercise in terms of simple stress reduction!
When I was in my 40’s I started walking regularly and I was amazed at how helpful walking was in reducing stress. My husband was a runner. It helped him a lot…for the same reason. Sometimes, he ran with our daughters, other times he ran alone. I was never able to get into running. But walking was very helpful to me.
I could talk out my struggles to myself, pray them out, memorize Bible verses or just simply enjoy nature! It was great! Getting out of the house and enjoying the fresh air was delightful. It broke the spell of sitting and looking at four walls or thinking about the same problem and rolling it over and over in my mind…with no new solutions.
I need to get back to it because it definitely was something I enjoyed. Right now, I get so overwhelmed with things to get done that I don’t see how I can go for a walk…which means I need it more than ever!
Going to exercise classes is great for some people. We did that for awhile. I enjoyed the class while I was there, but getting there was almost always a pain! They worked me in places I needed work, but not so much that I felt worn out after.
The other helpful thing about exercise is that it uses up calories. We all know that. The icing on the cake is that exercise we enjoy produces serotonin, dopamine and endorphins in your brain. These are all chemicals that induce feelings of pleasure and joy of various types.
So if you struggle with depression, feeling overwhelmed, or anxiety of various sorts, make some time to get out of your house and exercise. You may be surprised at how helpful it is to your mental outlook.
I think I’ll take my own advice today!
Every athlete exercises self-control in all things.
They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.
So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air.
But I discipline my body and keep it under control,
lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.
I Corinthians 9:25-27 ESV