“Do you go to a grocery store for milk, bread and vegetables instead of milking your cow, grinding your grain and tending your garden?” This is just one of example of our modern conveniences that Stormie Omartian points out in her book Greater Health God’s Way. Modern conveniences have replaced many activities that would require us to move more. (I’m not going to comment here on why you should still milk your own cow or find someone who does – if you still drink cow’s milk. Perhaps I’ll link to another article later. Let’s talk about the importance of exercise.)
Exercise Improves Circulation.
Your body requires movement. One very important process that depends on the movement of your body is circulation. In a nutshell, circulation helps your blood flow while it carries nutrients to important organs and remove toxic wastes to be eliminated. A few signs and symptoms of impaired circulation are:
- Numbness in extremities
- Chest pains (due to reduced blood flow to the heart)
- Brain Fog (inability to think sharply or stay focused)
Benefits of improving circulation can be:
- Increased energy (due to increased oxygen levels)
- Increased metabolism (speeds up the body processes that maintain life)
- Better heart functioning
- A focused mind and clearer thinking
- Feel and look healthier
Exercise for weight loss?
Yes, we all know that we can burn extra calories while exercising. But, let’s not make that the focus. If you focus on burning calories, you may give up if you don’t see the scale moving down or burn yourself out by doing too much exercise. Instead, our focus should be to exercise for health benefits as a whole. And as we become healthier, our bodies will tend to “go” towards our ideal weight without feeling as if we had to work so hard to get there. When I say “work hard” I mean physically exerting our bodies to the point where we are doing more harm than good. In the beginning you may feel that you are “working hard” to implement exercise within your new lifestyle. Yet, this is normal when implementing any new change. I want to encourage you to be excited about the change and the changes ahead for how adding exercise to your routine is going to reap rewards.
Exercise relieves tension and stress.
Exercising naturally releases endorphins which are “feel-good” hormones. These endorphins can lift your spirit and relieve depression. As you more regularly practice exercise you will gain energy that will allow you to do more activities that you enjoy and even better handle the regular ins-and-outs of daily living. In addition to the endorphins, your body is detoxifying while you exercise through the various pathways that it has in order to do so. Getting rid of toxic chemicals and built up lactic acid will eliminate anxiety and help you to feel calmer too.
Exercise can also provide these additional benefits:
- More endurance
- Helps prevent constipation
- Improve digestion
- More muscles and more strength
- Increase flexibility and balance
- Cut cravings for junk food
- Detoxification (through sweat and increased lymph circulation)
- Improve attitude
- Better sleep and relaxation
Ways to Exercise
Walking on a stationary treadmill or riding a stationary bike is not my idea of fun. Actually, I’m one to try to implement exercise into my daily life that will allow me to get some chores accomplished at the same time. For example, I have a manual push lawn mower (avoids gasoline fumes and strengthens my muscles).
Yet, if not accomplishing a chore, then I rather enjoy exercise! When you find an activity that is fun, then it’s more likely that you will keep doing it. Agree? And even some of these can be just as relaxing as they are fun and enjoyable.
Here are some exercises that can be easy to implement.
- Walking – alone or with a friend or family member
- Dancing – by yourself or with a partner or in a class setting
- House Cleaning – such as cleaning floors, doing laundry or anything that requires reaching, bending and/or squatting
- Gardening and lawn care – which regularly requires raking, digging, pulling weeds, bending
And more formal forms of exercise that can be just as enjoyable:
- Lifting weights
NOTE: Stretching your muscles is automatic through most activities involved with exercising and it will help improve circulation. So don’t leave stretching out of your daily activities.