Tuesday, 31 July 2007

Why do we exercise?

I was asked by a reader why we actually exercise and it posed lots of questions in my mind. Obviously we are told that exercise is good for us but I felt that for many people exercise is more about vanity or competitiveness. We are constantly shown images of celebrities with so called perfect bodies but please don't be drawn in by all of this. Many images are airbrushed almost beyond recognition, the images can be stretched to make the individual look slimmer and that is after the extensive hair, make up and complimentary lighting. Also just because someone looks good on the outside does not necessarily mean that they are looking after their health long term.

Another arguement for exercising is the basic instinct of survival, we want to be able to run faster, be quicker, or just be better than the next person, In nature only the fittest survive. Perhaps we should also think about exercise from a less selfish point of view and think that by exercising and staying healthy we are saving the NHS money and are less likely to be dependant on others for care. In reality I think we all have our own individual reasons for exercising and hopefully for some of you the word enjoyment comes into play. Also if you exercise well you are more likely to sleep properly and that has to be good for your mental and physical health.

When you exercise you have a direct impact on levels of chemicals within the brain, you will often hear people say that they get a high after exercising, that is supposedly because you get a rush of endorphins and these have an impact on chemicals such as serotonin which make you feel happy. It is thought that exercise is a great cure for depression. I know that no matter how bad I am feeling a good session on the pole usually cheers me up. I noticed an interesting question on the web with a concerned individual who thought that he might be over exercising ( a very specific sort of exercise) and therefore making himself more depressed, Read it for yourself!!

Well the moral of today's story as usual is get out there and do something pro-active, make yourself and maybe someone else feel happier. Get on your sunscreen, get out and enjoy the good weather while it lasts, Apart from my colleague Jo who is off to Egypt for two and a half weeks and abandoning me (not that i am jealous!!), I am sure that she is going to have more than her fair share of sun and therefore should stay in until she goes - (only joking - Jo if you are reading this I hope you have a fantastic holiday)

Stay Healthy,

Sam x

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