According to the World Health Organization, health is “not only the absence of illness, but also a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being”1. One of the wonderful things about exercise is that it helps you to improve all of the components of health. Do you find yourself lacking in mental wellness? Are you often tired, stressed and run down? How do you feel after a walk outdoors in the Colorado sunshine, taking a bike ride, or perhaps walking your dog; refreshed, energized, calm, happy, or all of the above? Exercise has a healing effect on the body. Research has proven that there is a linear relationship between exercise and mental distress; the more often you get out and exercise the more likely you are to see an improvement in your stress and anxiety levels1.
Your social life contributes to your sense of peace and well-being. Perhaps you find that your social life is stalled or you ‘spend time’ with your friends online? If you want to lower your stress levels, this needs to change. One way to strengthen your connections is to exercise with your friends! Do things that you all enjoy doing together: Go for a hike, walk around the mall, or make it a point to go sledding, skiing or snowshoeing this winter. It’s important to have fun and get out and do things with the people you care about. It also makes physical activity come a little easier when you have someone to share it with.
If you are blessed with a great circle of friends and you find that you need some time alone to reflect and meditate, try a yoga class or meditation. Yoga is a quiet and thoughtful way to end a busy or stressful day. Take a yoga class that focuses on deep stretching and relaxation, such as yin yoga, and relax the stress of the day away. Try a sunrise yoga class at one of the many local recreation centers for a treat to get your morning started on the right foot. On another note, meditation requires no special equipment, can be done anywhere and is absolutely FREE! Try to devote about 15-20 minutes per day to this practice to experience a deeper level of relaxation, decrease muscle tension, reduce anxiety, and enhance energy levels. With all of these positive benefits, why not give it a try by starting with a guided meditation class?
We are blessed to like in such a beautiful state with so much to offer; explore all the wonders Colorado has to offer and get out and move every day, even if it’s just a walk around the block to see the wonders of your own neighborhood. You will feel better for it, and if you bring you friends along they will too.
Thanks for reading! Have a healthy week!
Contributors: Kim Farmer and Michelle Beachem of Mile High Fitness. Mile High Fitness offers in-home personal training and corporate fitness solutions. Visit www.milehighfitness.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org
1Edwards, S. (2006). Physical exercise and psychological well-being. South African Journal Of Psychology, 36(2), 357-373.