It might seem like a bit of a stretch for me to say that getting regular exercise simplifies my life in a big way – but it does. In fact, it makes a huge difference.
But first, I want you to know that getting regular exercise is not my natural state of being, and it may not be yours, either. Since I was a little girl, I always preferred curling up inside with a good book, rather than getting outside and being active. My mom intervened and insisted that I join school sports teams. I did, and that taught me the value of getting regular exercise.
But I will readily admit that I don’t always stay on the exercise wagon. Oftentimes I’m really disciplined (and I feel great), and sometimes several months will go by with no exercise at all. I can definitely tell the difference when I’m exercising regularly and when I’m not.
Here’s how it helps me:
- I sleep better. I have chronic shoulder pain from poor posture sitting at a desk all day, and it flares up – sometimes waking me up in the middle of the night, aching. When my exercise routine is regular, my shoulder hurts less over all, and doesn’t wake me up. Aside from my shoulder pain, I tend to sleep more lightly and restlessly when I am not exercising consistently. However, routine weekly exercise usually makes me sleep more soundly through the night.
- I eat better. When I get regular exercise, I seem to crave and eat healthier foods. I’ve noticed that when I’m exercising regularly, I tend to reach for veggies and fresh foods and when I don’t, I’m grabbing saltier, processed foods like chips. I think it’s because I crave foods that make me feel better instead of foods that make me feel bloated. My appetite changes when I exercise regularly, too, with smaller portions spread throughout the day whenever I feel hungry, instead of three large meals.
- I am healthier and have more energy. When I exercise 3-4 times each week for 30 minutes to an hour, I feel more limber and strong. With more energy, I get more done! I notice that I tend to have more energy at the end of the day, so instead of coming home from work and sitting down in front of the TV, I have the energy to cook a more creative (and healthy) dinner, or work on a craft project.
- I have more focus and clarity. When I am consistent about my exercise regimen, I am more able to focus at work and I get a lot more done in a shorter time. For me, it feels like my mind drags a bit when my body is not in shape, so exercising regularly can help to sharpen my focus.
- I feel more powerful. When I actually make my health and fitness a priority, I feel more powerful in my whole life because I’m not just letting life happen to me – I’m taking charge. It’s a really powerful feeling and that tends to spill into other areas of my life as well. If I can feel in charge of my fitness, I can also feel in charge of other things too.
In my next blog post I’ll tell you how you can get moving, even if it’s the last thing you want to do. Believe me, you will be so happy you did. So watch for my next post!