2 Excellent Reasons to Get Your Sweat On

by Ali Piazza

Exercise – either you love it or you hate it. Most people, once they get past the discomfort of exercising, end up enjoying and craving workouts because the best part about exercise is how it makes you feel. It not only makes you physically stronger and healthier but it is just as beneficial for the brain as it is for the body.

Dr John Ratey, author of The Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain, says “Exercise is really for the brain, not the body. It affects mood, vitality, alertness and feelings of well being.” I couldn’t agree more with this statement. In fact, I was able to get off of antidepressants because of regular exercise. I totally notice a difference in my thinking and mood when I get my sweat on!

Your Beautiful Brain

As you know, the brain is an amazing organ that is in charge of our mental, physical and emotional activities. I can go on and on about the brain, as I’m truly fascinated by it, but then you’d be on here for way to long!

The beauty of exercise is twofold.

  1. It helps to sculpt your body and increase your overall strength and endurance.
  2. It causes endorphins and serotonin to be released in the brain.

Simplified, endorphins and serotonin are some of the chemicals in your brain that are responsible for making you feel good and relieve pain. There’s an accumalative effect. The more you exercise the more these chemicals will build up in your brain. So in a nutshell: the more you exercise the better you feel, literally.

However,  the chemcials don’t pile on all at once. The bummer is it takes time to feel the benefits. The first few weeks of starting a new exercise routine are extremely uncomfortable and difficult. Now, there should never be a sharp, intense pain and you shouldn’t feel it in your joints or bones. If this is the case you should go see a doctor or a physiotherapist.

But you should be working hard enough to feel your muscles get tired and even burn a little. Of course, the next day your muscles will be sore due to delayed onset muscle soreness or DOMS.

Learn to love DOMS. It means that your muscles are growing and changing. What’s the point of killing it in the gym if you don’t feel any changes? (CLICK to tweet)

Make Exercise your First Habit

I believe that exercise should be your first habit when changing to a healthier lifestyle. This is because getting into the exercise habit is easier than changing your eating habits. To create an exercise habit, all you need to do is get you mind in the right place and create a habit loop.
It’s easier because even though exercise is hard, you only do it for a short amount time and once you’re done, you don’t have to think about it until the next day. Changing your eating habits on the other hand, requires much more effort since you have to eat several times through out the day and there’s temptation everywhere. It requires much more will power/ brain power to change your eating habits…but that’s a post for another day :)
By getting into the exercise habit, you’re setting your brain up for taking on more strenuous challenges. So go get your sweat on!!
Do you exercise regularly? If not, what’s stopping you? Please share in the comments below.
photo credit: http://bit.ly/QuOo3A

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