Wednesday, 6 April 2011

'E' is for ... EXERCISE

Exercise is a four letter word, isn’t it?
Well, some forms of exercise are ;)

- L-e-a-p, j-u-m-p, lift, flex… :)

Sound too energetic? How about swim? Or walk.

We all know that exercise increases fitness levels and helps you lose weight. But did you know for many chronic pain sufferers, exercise can improve mood, give a general feeling of well-being and actually help control pain levels?

The reason for this is Neurotransmitters, remarkable bodily control and functioning mechanisms. One of these neurotransmitters is endorphins - powerful hormone-like substances produced in the brain that function as the body’s own natural feel good chemicals and painkillers. And scientists have discovered that during physical activities - including sex -but exercise in particular, the body releases endorphins which can produce feelings of euphoria and a general state of well-being so powerful, it can actually mask pain to the same extent as morphine can.

In addition, exercise releases adrenaline, serotonin, and dopamine which work together to make you feel good, and it decreases stress hormones such as cortisol.

The problem I’ve had recently and alluded to in recent posts, is that I’ve lost my mojo and I need motivation to exercise. I won’t beat myself up that I’ve let it slide recently because I had a good excuse having major surgery. But it's time to get back in the saddle, so to speak.

This A-Z challenge has given me a bit of a buzz again for the first time in months. Positive thinking and laughter provoke the production of endorphins, the same as taking a walk during a sunny day or meeting an artistic person does. And I can see it’s the endorphins, my natural feel-good hormones that are kicking in. The challenge has got me focused and motivated, writing again EVERY day, and with the encouragement and support I’ve received from fellow bloggers, it’s really spurred me on. THANK YOU.

I believe in exercise and the power of endorphins. Exercise has kept me out of hospital for the last ten years. And it helped me tremendously last year while I waited for surgery. TMJ pain was the most incredible pain, like no other pain I've ever suffered. And I’m sure one of the reasons I coped so well and have recovered from major surgery so quickly was because of my level of fitness and the positive outlook.

My next step is to get exercising again. It can't be a marathon, or a run at all for that matter. I can’t do anything high impact - it must be strictly non-weight bearing or it causes flare-ups - and I can’t push myself too hard or too fast for the same reasons. I can’t afford to mask pain so I will listen to my body. I know from experience that all it takes to promote those endorphins is moderate amounts of exercise to get effects.

Swimming and cycling are my thing, and Yoga is perfect as it reduces tension and stress and focuses on stretching, breathing, and motion that release negative emotions in the body.

So, there you have it – my‘E’ is for Exercise... and Endorphins.

Until another day
Bye for now


Flowerpot said...

Well done you Debbie - I love walking as I have my Molls to walk with which is a huge help. Sometimes on those horrible wet cold days I dread it but always feel better having done it. Just off now in the sunshine with the camera....... take care.

Bish Denham said...

I do water aerobics four days a week and strength training 2 days. Walk the dog in between. Keeps the blood flowing.

Ally Harris said...

Swimming with endorphins is on my bucket list!! Miami would be good!

Sorry, Deb, seriously I know you're right. It's just getting motivated. I wish you could join our Zumba class - it's fab! It's exercise in disguise... we just spend an hour dancing to some great music xx

Fran said...

Exercise? Definition, please. I'm unfamiliar with the term.

Melissa Marsh said...

Good for you!!! Exercise is SO important. For years, I went without and did myself a major disservice. I now go to Curves every week and my body thanks me for it. Even if the weight loss is a bit slow, I can feel my muscles getting stronger and I just FEEL better. :-)

Sue Guiney said...

This is a constant struggle for me. I know I'm always happiest after I exercise.Lately I find late afternoon to be a good time for it - I'm always too driven to get started with my day to exercise in the mornings. So I'm with you on this one! And thanks for finding my blog!

Preseli Mags said...

Mmmm... endorphins. That's why I keep on running. Good luck with the swimming and cycling - and enjoy those endorphins.

I'm enjoying your A-Z challenge by the way (and having fun guessing what the next one is - F is for...?)

Name: Luana Krause said...

I don't particularly LOVE exercise, but I love how I feel after a workout! That's why I keep doing it.

Withy Brook said...

I have always found it difficult to exercise regularly but on the whole gardening has to do!
You certainly make a good case for it, especially as I am full of aches and pains at the moment!
Like Mags, I am much enjoying your regular blogs and look forward to the next one. Yes, F...?

Empty Nest Insider said...

Debbie, we can all use some exercise especially after sitting in front of a computer all day. So happy you're swimming as I've heard that is one of the best things you can do. Now I'm off to the treadmill. Looking forward to following you. Thanks again, Julie

Keena said...

I have a hard time with exercise too. I hope you can get back into the swing of things

sema said...

Inspired me to start exercising and doing yoga again-something that gets lost in the daily busyness.


visiting from A-Z challenge

Amanda said...

I'm an exercise-a-phobic - I do try - and feel better for it when I do - but never keep it up.

Good luck with getting back into your exercising. :-)

Rosemary Gemmell said...

This makes me feel so guilty! But you're so right about exercise making us feel better. I used to swim a lot (must get back to it) and I started zumba and Tap dancing before Chrsitmas. Only the Tap remains and that's sporadic!

Debs Carr said...

The only exercise I get is walking the dog or gardening and I love it. I really should do a bit more.

bayou said...

Oh, I am disappointed now ;-) - I thought E is for Excellence. Your daily blogs are excellent!
P.S. Nothing better than swimming.

Joseph said...

Regular exercise is necessary for physical fitness and good health. It reduces the risk of heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes and other diseases. It can improve your appearance and delay the aging process.

Kitchen Benchtops