As I walked my dog around the lake this morning, I reflected on some of the other benefits of exercise.

We all know that exercise is good for us. ?It helps our hearts to stay healthy, our minds to stay functioning, our bodies to stay younger for longer. ?We know that exercise helps to prevent or stabilize degenerative conditions. ?We are told that exercise will reduce obesity. (We are the most sedentary generation ever.)

The other day I read a report on a five-year study into the benefits of exercise on our health. ?The whole five years’ research was summed up in two words – “keep moving”.

My Grandmother walked every single day. ?She would walk in the morning or the afternoon, every day. ?She walked every day until she died – at 95. ?Although she wasn’t as active or as quick thinking as she had been as a younger woman (she started to slow down at about 92), she was still engaging, still busy and still had things to talk about.

She would nag us all the time, “you must keep moving”!

It doesn’t seem to matter what kind of exercise you do, the important thing is to keep moving.

Walking my dog today, thinking about all of this, I reflected on other benefits of exercise.

When I make the effort to prioritise exercise, I feel good. ?I get the extra benefit of knowing I kept my agreement with myself, which makes me feel good.

I find that as I start moving, I want to keep going. ?What might start out as a quick walk around the block, often ends up as a 4-5km walk, just because it feels good.

Swimming makes me feel amazing. ?I feel at one with the water, dissolving into it, playing in it, completely surrendering to it. ?Swimming nourishes my soul, feeds my spirit and makes me feel so alive.

Paddling a kayak makes me feel strong, builds my balance and gives me a different perspective of the water.

Cycling is exhilarating! ?The speed and the motion, the wind in my hair, the effort it takes to climb a small hill, then coasting down the other side – I love it!

Playing with my kids is fun, makes me laugh, gives them the chance to beat me and we are doing something fun together.

It doesn’t matter what kind of exercise it is, it frees my mind. ?I find that I can think about things, often finding solutions to problems that have been floating around in my head for days. ?Daydreaming, fantasising about holidays, things to do on the weekend, all happen while I’m exercising.

Walking my dog can also be a good exercise in mindfulness. ?Being aware of every breath, every step, where I am, the weather, the wind on my face – it’s amazing.

What do you do to feel good about yourself?


*Image courtesy of Free Digital Images.