Exercise can actually help with your overall mood

It’s no secret that a regular exercise routine will have positive effects on one’s body.

But what you might not know is that beyond weight control or battling health conditions, exercise can actually help with your overall mood.

From the Mayo Clinic (www.mayoclinic.com): “Physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals that may leave you feeling happier and more relaxed. You may also feel better about your appearance and yourself when you exercise regularly, which can boost your confidence and improve your self-esteem.”

For the majority of us, our occupations keep us bound to our desks for the majority of the day. While we might get up for another cup of coffee, to use the restrooms or an occasional meeting here and there, for the most part we rarely take time to refocus our minds during any given work day.

That used to be me until recently, when I came across the information which related exercise to mood stimulation.

So now my half hour lunch period has become more about exercise than about eating (no worries – I do take time to scarf down something I brought from home).

While I realize the health benefits, it’s truly amazing how a leisurely stroll can profoundly change the way I’m feeling for the rest of the afternoon.

Just like Mister Rogers would change his shoes during the start of his program, I also replace my uncomfortable dress shoes with a well-worn pair of sneakers. Sometimes I even find myself humming “It’s such a good feeling, to know you’re alive…”

I’ve walked in the rain, in the snow and most enjoyably on days when the sun was shining so brightly that I didn’t want to come back to work at all.

And as I make my way down one busy street after another (wearing dress pants and sneakers and looking like a man in his 80’s) I smile.

It IS such a good feeling to know that doing something so simple for even a short period of time, can help you refocus your priorities and even make you feel better about yourself.

John Muir once remarked that, “In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.”

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