beating the winter blah’s….
so you set 2011’s goal and got off to a great start, but…..
feeling that post-holiday letdown too, huh? shorter days. early nights. when you’re feeling low, moving may be the last thing you wanna do. but if you put one foot in front of the other, you’ll feel better — both about yourself and about the world.
when you’re physically active, your body releases natural chemicals (neurotransmitters: endorphins, serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine) that actually make you feel better and more relaxed. exercise also reduces your body’s production of hormones like cortisol, which are released at high levels during chronic stress and depress the immune system.
move your body, change your mind.
exercise has been proven to:
- boost confidence: achieving a fitness goal, no matter how small, will give you a sense of accomplishment.
- burn calories: how else does the weight melt away? plus getting thinner and feeling more fit is likely to cheer you up.
- redirect your focus: you’ll be too busy trying to do one more rep of that crunch, curl, or kick to think about anything negative.
by choosing to get up and move, you’re taking care of yourself, and coping in a healthy way. and when you observe that, you’ll believe you can take other steps forward.
how much exercise makes a difference?
as little as 10 to 15 minutes of activity can improve your mood, especially if you’re doing something dynamic, like running or cycling.
a single workout can jump-start the feel-good chemical changes.
so the most important thing is getting started. to get the greatest benefits, work your way up to at least 30 minutes a day, 3 to 5 days a week.
choose something accessible. the power of exercise doesn’t come from fancy equipment, but from the effort you put in. if you pick something you can get to and that fits your timetable, you’ve lowered the barriers to getting started. for example, you can:
- turn everyday errands into workouts when you do them on foot or by bike. (extra points for adding a hill, or taking the long way home.)
- check out a boot camp (PLUG!!!) or activities offered at your local park, like swimming, basketball games, or any fitness classes. one thing is for sure: GROUPS HELP MOTIVATE.
so start today. boost your activity level and help put a smile on your face. because you don’t have to wait for the sunshine to feel good.