Reap the Benefits of Physical Exercise!


What? Go for a run when I have a million other things to do? Who has the time for that!

This is a typical thought that passes through my mind more frequently than I would like to admit. However, I am aware of it and I refute it with a positive statement to motivate myself to go such as “I will feel better after, I always do, so just do it.”

Getting to the gym or exercising at home can be difficult to find time for, I know! Exercise is one of those basic self care essentials that we often neglect. And yet the physical, mental and emotional benefits of exercise are being proven by scientists on a daily basis.

Many of our mind and body problems can be alleviated and prevented by physical exercise. For example, exercise can enhance our mood within 5 minutes according to Dr. Michael Otto, author of Exercise for Mood and Anxiety! Do not let your mind trick you into thinking sitting on the couch is better for you than going for a walk. Despite that sneaky, seductive negative voice talking, exercise has been shown to alleviate long-term depression and in one study was very comparable to the effects of antidepressants!

And let’s not forget about anxiety! Exercise has shown improvements in people’s sensitivity to anxiety and ability to ward off panic attacks through exercise.

But, I could never run for 3 whole miles! There goes that negative thinking again! I may not be able to start out at a half-marathon. But if you’re reasonably fit, it is possible to go from being a dedicated couch potato to walking, to running in a gradual exercise program. I could do it!

If you start out too hard on yourself you will give up. That’s just human nature.

As with everything else in life, be patient, don’t overdo it and sooner than you think, you will begin to feel the benefit!

This article was written by Nicole Newcomb, MHC-P, EWN psychotherapist.

Photo courtesy of Thomas Rousing