Yesterday’s blog ended with thoughts about Blaze’s youthfulness, which I attribute to his daily walks. I mentioned it makes happy, but didn’t talk about our own human endorphins. Last week I had a day or two of feeling really blue. Sure, there were plenty of good reasons, but it is NOT in my nature to get “down in the dumps,” regardless of what is going on in my life. Case and point is when Derek, at 16, asked Mitch why I was “so OK” when his grandma, my mom, Ruth, passed away. I was mostly OK because she had pretty severe Alzheimers and it was a relief for all of us. There was, however, a part of me that was lucky enough to have the rush of endorphins almost constantly flowing through my body. Exercise, in that way, is like a drug (rarely with any negative side effects!). In fact, just a day or two after my mother passed away, I remember “sneaking” into the gym to get on one of the then, very new, elliptical machines. Mom definitely would have understood and been happy!
Getting back to last week, though I was teaching classes daily, I was missing running a couple of times a week and my every other day swims that I took from last spring until the beginning of this month. Mitch and I had just learned that our friend Michael passed away and I was sad about that but the feeling in my body was much more chemical and I knew I was in need of a tough workout. The next morning I got up and ran just about a mile and then did wind sprints, running as fast as my feet would take me, recovering and doing it again. I always work in 8s when I do those. After that workout (which took well under 30 minutes) and a hot shower, I felt brand new.
This was a reminder for me about a lesson I know very well and ALWAYS wish to share with others. What is good for our body is good for our brain and exercise is the magic bullet! Anyone who is a regular at a gym, knows that the people who workout regularly are just generally nicer, kinder and all around happier people than those that don’t. What a lucky girl I am that that I get to work with the happiest people in the world! As you set your goals for the new year, remember that regular exercise might just be the single best antidepressant available to all of us. That’s a pill I can swallow.
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Bonni, you are so on-point with the body-mind connection. I am slowly re-entering the world of exercise and it feels so good. I don’t know which feels better…..my body or my mind. The endorphins are kicking in and I am totally thrilled. It has been a very long journey….7 months……and I can finally say that I am ready both mentally and physically to “get back” to a somewhat normal routine. I know that life’s experiences happen for a reason, but it sure feels great when life returns to normalcy. I am looking forward to a new, fresh, healthy year. 2010 is a year I will long remember…..unfortunately,….not in a positive way.