Give Yourself the Gift of Sweat

It’s a busy time of year,  but don’t forget that breaking a sweat most days does amazing things for your body and your mind.

Let’s start with what exercise does to you physically. It helps to control weight. I’m not a big believer in “calories in, calories out,”  because our bodies utilize nutrient-dense foods so differently than calorie-dense foods, so let’s move past that way of thinking about exercise and get down to the science of what it creates when you start to breath hard and sweat.

Exercise helps your body to use stored fat as fuel and it gets your heart rate up while flushing your body with fresh oxygen, which rejuvenates the blood and the cells, bringing health to every area of the body. This same process reduces blood pressure and helps relieve stiffness in the arteries. Exercise reduces myocardial damage, it decreases inflammation and improves the immune system’s function. The body can heal so much faster with better circulation. It decreases liver issues and improves insulin sensitivity, reducing your risk of diabetes.

In addition to the phenomenal physical benefits of exercise, it also improves brain function, reduces anxiety and depression by producing serotonin in the brain, which is the same thing that most antidepressants do. The mental benefits of exercise far outweigh the physical and that’s why so many people get addicted to exercise. We start to crave those feel-good hormones once we get a taste of them and that’s a craving we want to indulge. Getting up and working out in the morning can change your entire day. It gets you started with a feeling of accomplishment. You’ve set off all those beautiful endorphins and there’s nothing you can’t do once you finish your workout.

Working out is hard and that’s why we feel so good about ourselves when we’re done with that thirty minutes or hour of breathing heavy and sweating good. We did it! Having one thing everyday that you have total control of is the most wonderful “you time” you can have. It will make you a better mother,  husband, dad, wife, employee, sister, daughter, son- just a better YOU all the way around. Whatever kind of exercise gets you feeling good, do it, don’t wait, don’t be too busy. We have to make time for ourselves even during the holidays and the time you spend working out is not just about you, it’s about every other person you care about, too.

What are you going to do to break a sweat this week?

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