Updated: Oct 19, 2018
by Nina Sabin - Healthy Tip
Did you know exercise is not only beneficial to stay in good physical shape, but it also helps improve your mind and your spirit?
Physically, exercise helps keep the weight down, it decreases the risk of heart disease, and helps control diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, hypertension, asthma, back pain, and arthritis.
In the article Exercise and Chronic disease: Get the Facts, the Mayo Clinic staff author explains that aerobic exercise can help to improve your heart health and endurance and aid in weight loss. Strength training can improve muscle strength and endurance, make it easier to do daily activities, slow disease-related declines in muscle strength, and provide stability to joints. Flexibility exercises may help you to have optimal range of motion about your joints, so they can function best, and stability exercises may help reduce the risk of falls.
Exercise helps the mind with memory and thinking. Directly exercise reduces insulin resistance, reduces inflammation, and stimulates the release of growth factors—chemicals in the brain that affect the health of brain cells, the growth of new blood vessels in the brain, and even the abundance and survival of new brain cells.
Indirectly, exercise improves mood and sleep, and reduces stress and anxiety. Problems in these areas frequently cause or contribute to cognitive impairment.
Exercise also helps with decreasing or avoiding depression. So often people struggle with depression due to a chemical imbalance in the brain. Exercise releases feel-good endorphins that are natural brain chemicals that can enhance your sense of well-being. Exercise can also: take your mind off of your worries, help you gain confidence by finding exercises you enjoy and can succeed at (like biking, walking, dancing, playing a sport, working out a gym), get more social interaction (exercising at a gym, involved in a sport, taking an exercise class like aerobics, dancing, yoga) and learning to cope in a healthy way when struggling with depression or anxiety (choosing the healthy way of exercising instead of turning to negative choices like focusing on your thoughts or turning to alcohol).
Exercise helps the spirit; with a clear head we can accomplish so many things. Yoga is one type of exercise that can help the spirit. Many people think yoga can be a cult or a religion, so they steer clear of trying it. However, yoga clears the mind. Too often our mind takes control of our spirit and we cannot enjoy the freedoms God intended for our life. Yoga not only focuses on improving your body through stretches and poses, but it teaches how to breathe and clear your mind.
In an article by YogaFaith they explain that yoga is not a religion. It is nonsectarian, but contains the ability to deepen anyone’s faith. Aspects of yoga have been incorporated into many groups and various organizations, including religions, for thousands of years. However, yoga is not a religion in and of itself, nor do you have to be religious to practice yoga. Some have used the practice of yoga, meditation and times of stillness to reflect on self enlightenment, a source they believe in, or as an act of worship. So the try yoga as an exercise to improve your mind, body, and spirit. A Bible verse to meditate on when related to yoga is Acts 17:28, “In Him we move and breathe and have our being.”
Remember having a daily exercise routine can “Make a Better You.” So challenge yourself and tomorrow start that routine, be consistent with daily exercise and as see how much your mind, body, and, spirit improve.