Over the long weekend, I didn’t workout once, and it made me sad. Don’t get me wrong, I worked hard this weekend. I weeded, thinned, trenched, chopped and moved mulch for 11 hours in the stifling heat. I lost buckets of water in sweat, which is comparably only to my beloved spinning class. I worked hard and stayed active, but it’s not the same thing as engaging in a targeted workout. It’s close, but there’s really no replacement for a great workout. If you exercise regularly, you’ll know what I mean. When I skip working out, I miss how it makes me feel, the high you get or if you want to get technical about it, the release of endorphins. I’ve got science on my side here. Endorphins are neurotransmitters produced in the brain that reduce pain and have been known to induce euphoria. Sign me up please. Drugs such as morphine, heroin and cocaine are classic endorphin-releasing entities, so essentially, you get the rush without all the horrible side effects. Did you ever wonder why people who exercise regularly are so ridiculously perky. Now you know.
When I skip my workout, I miss not only the high, but my muscles (yeah, I have some of those now…..itty bitty little ones) crave the exercise too. I like waking up in the a.m. feeling a little stiff or sore because I pushed myself so hard the day before. There’s a sense of pride, purpose, and accomplishment. And in the simplest of terms, it makes me happy. And confident, and secure, and about a million other things, which are all good for me. So the next time you see a fitness fanatic and think they’re crazy, remember they’re just really happy (and you can be too).
The mayo clinic, a renowned medical institution lists the top seven reasons to exercise: (http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/exercise/HQ01676)
- Exercise controls weight.
Exercise combats health conditions and diseases.
Exercise improves mood.
Exercise boosts energy.
Exercise promotes better sleep.
Exercise puts the spark back into your sex life.
Exercise can be fun.
Now seriously, is there anything on the list where you can say, “Oh no, that’s horrible. I don’t want any part of that; an improved mood and a better sex life. Nope, not for me.”
I say, Count me in.