For something so loaded with benefits, exercise gets a bad rap in our minds. We allow our thoughts to convince our brains that we need a way out of this life sentence of regular exercise.
We write ourselves permission slips that get us out of the very activities that would bring joy to our lives. One of our longest-tenured members at UpLift admits that she “doesn’t have a passion for exercise,” but rather, “a passion for life, and exercise gives me so much more life.”
The truth is that our bodies love––crave––movement. Our bodies want to be strong. When you consistently exercise, incredible things happen inside your body.
Your heart pumps better, keeping your vascular system strong and clear. Your heart rate and blood pressure go down, decreasing your risk for many diseases, heart attacks, and strokes. Exercise can reduce glucose in your blood and prevent diabetes. And studies show that exercise can reduce the risk of some cancers and depression.
With regular exercise, oxygen flows better in your body, very much including the brain. We’ll talk more on this, but exercise improves memory function, even increasing the size of the brain’s hippocampus.
Now let’s talk bones and muscles. Exercise helps build and maintain bone density at any age. Resistance training increases muscle size and strength.
How much should you exercise? If you’re a beginner, start with 3 days per week of aerobic and resistance training. If you’re experienced, 4 to 5 days per week is perfect.
Exercise is not a life sentence. It is, literally, a breath of life for your body, mind, and spirit. Don’t talk yourself out of it.
– Jill Strand