A Powerful Habit For Happiness
I was never athletic. At school, I usually skipped physical education, and I had bad habits. I began smoking and drinking alcohol at the age of 14. I did exercises here and there, but I lacked consistency and discipline, so I failed in maintaining an exercise program innumerable times.
A year ago, I fractured my kneecap while trying to chase my daughter in ice skates. I was forced to walk with a cane for a few months. I then realized the value of my knee. It got me thinking, Now that I have a burning desire to exercise, I can’t. I promised myself then that if I completely healed, I would be determined to exercise with self-discipline no matter what, and so I did. I bought a book on self-discipline and I began. Even when my knee was still weak, I began to do gentle exercises every day with no excuse.
I then realized the power of exercising. I found it to be the best practice to raise my self-esteem, combat stress, heal, grow stronger, and become healthier. I couldn’t believe my eyes when 9 months later, I could do 18 pushups whereas before, I could barely do three. I began doing things I didn’t think I could do before. I felt a new surge of energy and an incredible physical power I never felt before, one that motivated me to live life to the fullest. I saw myself going up and down stairs effortlessly, getting out of the pool like nothing, and even quickly climbing obstacles that others couldn’t.
Aside from powerful new strength, I witnessed any form of stress, bad moods, and cold symptoms dissolving. I haven’t gotten sick once for months. I know I’m helping my precious immune system.
Today, I believe exercising your body is the most powerful preventive medicine we can take. It’s energy, and energy is all!
As explained by Neuroscientist Wendy Suzuki in a TED Talk, exercise has immediate effects on your brain. A single workout that you do will immediately increase the levels of neurotransmitters like dopamine (which mediates desire and motivation more than pleasure) and serotonin (a contributor to feelings of wellbeing and happiness) which are chemical messengers in the brain.
The general consensus is that exercising is good for the body, yet, as incredible as it may seem, most people don’t practice exercise regularly.
Today, I know exercise is the most transformative thing that you can do for your brain. I became aware that growing older can become growing stronger.
More Benefits to Exercising the Body
Exercise prevents cellular aging
This is possible because studies have proven exercise boosts the mitochondria, which is an organelle found in large numbers in most cells, in which the biochemical processes of respiration and energy production occur.
It promotes weight loss
Exercise supports a fast metabolism while maintaining your muscle mass and losing weight at the same time.
It’s good for your bones, especially if paired with protein intake.
As people age and become sedentary, they tend to lose muscle mass and function, which can lead to injuries and disabilities.
It helps you reduce your risk of chronic disease
Did you know that lack of regular exercise activity is a primary cause of chronic disease? Regular exercise has shown to improve cardiovascular fitness while decreasing blood pressure and blood fat levels.
It can help your skin
Your skin can be affected by the amount of oxidative stress in your body.
Exercise can stimulate blood flow and induce skin cell adaption that can help delay the appearance of skin aging.
Obstacles to Exercising
Today, countless options are available to choose an adequate form of exercise. From practicing a sport in your community to one of the many apps or programs available to simply walking in your neighborhood, there are simply no more excuses.
While some may have so many “real excuses” not to exercise such as, “I’m too old,” “I have to clean the house,” “I’m too tired,” or “It’s too hard,” the overriding truth is that they lack self-discipline to replace a bad habit.
How much and how long should you exercise?
My personal experience and Neuroscientist Suzuki’s research shows that the optimal amount to exercise is 3-4 times a week, for a minimum of 30 minutes.
Exercise will heal and strengthen you, raise you up, and empower you. Bringing exercise in your life will give you a happier life. There’s only one question:
WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?