I am simply unmotivated to work out because I could get an amazing body or even drop a few pounds. However, when I have a case of moodiness or feeling a bit grumpy my workout always turns it around!
According to J. Kip Matthews, Ph.D, a sport and exercise psychologist, “When your body comes under stress or experiences pain (hello, burpees), neurochemicals called endorphins are produced in the brain’s hypothalamus and pituitary gland. Endorphins, which are structurally similar to the drug morphine, are considered natural painkillers because they activate opioid receptors in the brain that help minimize discomfort. They can also help bring about feelings of euphoria and general well-being.” He further explains, “Endorphins are also involved in natural reward circuits related to activities such as feeding, drinking, sexual activity and maternal behavior.”
So there you have it folks, exercise is a natural pain killer and stress reducer! In my experience you don’t have to put in hours at the gym to reap these benefits. I have taken 20 minute brisk walk and felt these wonderful side effects of moving my body.
For more information about the psychology of exercise and the brain. Read the book Spark by John J. Ratey. It was such an eye opening book about medicine and how our bodies can produce many of the chemicals we need by just exercising.
Trying out some new bread this week! I’m so excited about the protein count and clean ingredients it’s made from. It was located in the freezer section at the local grocery store but I found a link on Amazon that allows you to buy in bulk.
I’ve got a busy day ahead but I can’t let that be an excuse to make unhealthy food choices and skip my workout! The secret to getting it done? Make a plan!
I am making my plan early and looking at my list of “must do’s” for the day. It’s longer than usual but having a plan will ensure that it all gets done. I am going to complete my reading and blogging early, next getting my workout in; even if I have to chase a toddler around to get it done!
Clothes are chosen and steamed.
I have healthy snacks and a shake packed in a bag along with a water bottle that can be refilled. And that should do it! Of course, the unexpected can always happen but being flexible about your plan can reduce stress and help you get the most our of day!
Diets and I go way back. Like back to 11 years old.
I remember my first diet: Low-fat. Just count the fat grams, no more than 20 per day. Who remembers that fad? I was delighted because low fat, no fat cookies were the bomb and made up a large portion of my daily food allowance. No surprise that didn’t work out. Living on bread and sugary snacks made for zero weight loss and lots of sugar cravings.
I was a fluffy kid past 3rd grade. I rarely ate vegetables. I lived on refined carbs, sugary drinks, cheese, and sometimes meat. I can’t remember being extremely active either. If I recall correctly it was about this time that video games came into our lives with Nintendo and entire summers were spent inside trying to win Super Mario Brothers levels.
Then came my preteen years and some how I managed to loose some of my fluff. Not sure if it was getting taller, softball, or the boys I had crushes on but whatever it was, it was addicting. I was getting compliments and praise from everyone, plus my clothes looked and felt great. I knew then that I had to get it together and figure out how to be keep the weight off and loose more.
And so it begins… the next 10 years are filled with stories of weight loss and gain. Fad diets, gym memberships, workout videos, and weight loss books. Depending on who I was hanging with or what sort of stress I may have been experiencing my weight was all over the place. I kept a wide range of sizes in my closet because I never knew what the scale was going to say. My happiness always riding on a number and pant size.
Next post I will continue my weight story sharing some of the specific things I’ve tried in my quest to conquer health.