“An early morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.”

~ Henry David Thoreau

Does exercise feel like a chore, a necessity, a bother?

If you’ve been a couch potato for too long you start losing muscle tone and strength. Your self-esteem suffers. You start feeling yucky. Everyone needs regular physical activity.

Get up and do some sort of exercise. Anything that gets your blood pumping will help you feel better.

I’ve danced all my life. I started tap, jazz and ballet lessons when I was just three years old. In college, I not only took classes, but was part of so many dance teams that at times.

I was dancing six hours a day. When I got married and had babies, finding time to exercise got more and more challenging. I put on a little weight each time we had a new addition to the family.

Being in a difficult marriage, I felt overwhelmed and discouraged. I was carrying around a lot of extra weight when I became a single mother, with six of my seven children still at home. During a routine checkup the doctor ordered blood work. When the results came back it showed that my triglycerides were dangerously high at 437 (100 is the upper limit for the optimum level of triglycerides). I desperately wanted to “find myself” again. I made some huge lifestyle changes. I started eating healthy foods, drank a ton of water and added at least 20 minutes or more of exercise to my daily routine. Within six months I’d released a lot of weight and my triglycerides were down to a healthy level again. I looked better and felt a lot better too.

As you allow your body to move you may begin to feel connected to it more strongly than ever before. I have come to realize that I am accountable for the choices that affect my body. I am responsible for my health, the food I eat, the sleep I get and the amount of exercise I make time for. My body is the instrument through which I will sing the song I’ve come to this earth to sing.

This “body costume” is what clothes us as we live out our life’s mission. Running, hiking, dancing, walking – any form of exercise can greatly improve one’s emotional state. As the endorphins are released, instead of being all blown out of proportion, problems seem to come into focus and solutions start bubbling up. Walking and running connect the two sides of the brain, so if you’re faced with a difficult challenge, thinking over your problem while exercising can produce stellar solutions.

When you exercise, you know you’re doing something good for your body. It’s a healthy coping mechanism that has positive, long-term effects if repeated over time. (Drugs, alcohol, and cheesecake really can’t make that same claim.)

Want a sure-fire way to feel revitalized emotionally and physically? Exercise!