We all are very aware that exercise is really good for you. It increases our overall health, from the health of the lungs and heart, reduces the risk of various diseases, improves our muscle and bone strength, and helps you feel good mentally too.
When it comes right down to it, though, taking up a practice of regular daily physical activity has all sorts of additional benefits that go above and beyond the obvious ones that most of us have been hearing about for our whole lives.
Whether you look for the best yoga studio in your area and sign up for classes, or whether you commit to going for a jog each day, here are a few ways that a daily physical activity routine can dramatically improve your life.
By helping you to experience more feelings of hope, and more energy
You’ve probably heard that exercise makes us feel good because of endorphins, and that’s certainly true. But did you know that there are many more compounds and hormones that get released in the body during exercise that have a feel-good effect?
In her book “The Joy of Movement,” the psychologist Kelly McGonigal describes compounds that are colloquially known as “hope molecules,” and that are released by the muscles during any form of physical exertion.
The reason they have the nickname “hope molecules” is because these molecules seem to dramatically increase feelings of hope, positivity, and confidence.
As well as boosting your levels of hope and optimism, exercise can also significantly increase your energy levels — especially over time, as you stick with your routine.
More hope and more energy is a great combination for anyone looking to thrive in life.
By reducing aches and pains and making you more graceful
Depending on the type of physical activity you add to your daily routine, you may end up experiencing significantly fewer aches and pains as a result, whilst simultaneously enjoying better posture, and being more graceful in a range of physical contexts.
Yoga and Pilates routines can certainly help to do this, for example.
Today, more and more of us are living physically sedentary lives, exacerbated by the Covid-19 Pandemic and Working From Home guidelines, that involve sitting down for extended periods of time — and even for those of us who have physical jobs, the range of activities are often limited and repetitive.
Moving your body regularly, in a dynamic manner, can help to address many of these issues.
By helping to centre your attention more in the present moment, and less in your head
The thinking mind is a very powerful thing, but when we get too caught up in our own heads, a range of negative consequences tend to follow or at least to be exacerbated, including things like anxiety, indecision and depression.
Physical activity naturally helps to centre your awareness more in your body than in your head, at least for a while, and in this way it can help to short-circuit the cycle of rumination and obsessive thinking that many people habitually struggle with.
6 Key steps that you can take today
- Start your day the same way each day to create routine from the very beginning
- Take 5 minutes to identify what you are grateful for
- Plan your day ahead so that everything has an allocated time slot and you are more likely to succeed
- Include some form of physical activity- plan when you could walk instead of taking transport, schedule a class or plan a home workout
- Think up what would make today great. Gratitude is scientifically proven to improve sleep and your sense of well-being
- Live your day with this positive outlook to make your day more positive!