With over 300 muscles and 200 bones, it’s obvious to most people that fitness is necessary to keep our bodies active, strong, lean and healthy-the stronger last longer and have a better chance at survival. In our modern society, we have a need for more exercise because daily living has eliminated most physical labor. Computers, cars, machines and technology do most of the work for us with the touch of a button. Now more than ever, we need fitness and exercise to keep our bodies healthy.
Did you know that exercise is also good for your head? Exercise is also necessary to keep us mentally clear and stimulated as well as physically healthy. In fact, exercise is the number one prescription over anti-depressants.
A recent placebo-controlled study conducted by James Blumenthal, professor of psychology at Duke University and published in the September issue of the journal Psychosomatic Medicine compared exercise to a common antidepressant medication in a group of individuals diagnosed with major depressive disorder, and found that exercise was as effective as the drug at alleviating symptoms of the disorder. In fact, a research team that included psychologist Penny McCullagh, PhD, reached the following conclusions:
- Exercise was a beneficial antidepressant both immediately and over the long term.
- Exercise was an equally effective antidepressant for both genders.
- The greater the length of the exercise program and the larger the total number of exercise sessions, the greater the decrease in depression with exercise.
Why not lose weight, increase your stamina, AND decrease any chance of depression at the same time? I know it’s considered easy in our society to take a pill. Everyone wants the magic pill for everything. But pause for a minute and think about where this mentality has gotten us? What has this type of mentality COST us? I think we can see evidence of it in our health, wealth and happiness. Here are some shocking facts for our current health status:
- The world now has more people who are overweight than people who are hungry (PricewaterhouseCoopers 2007)
- It is projected that by 2023 there will be a 42% increase in cases of the seven chronic diseases, which will cost $4.2 trillion in treatment and lost economic output (DeVol et. Al. 2007)
- According to the World Health Organization, The US is the world’s fattest nation, with over half of adults overweight or obese. But China and India are growing fatter at a faster pace. By 2015, the number of overweight and obese adults in China and India will grow by 66% and 44% respectively (PricewaterhouseCoopers 2007)
Chemically, we stimulate our brains and our bodies to produce our own natural “happy drug” when we exercise-this will also help with your spiritual and emotional health as well. We need exercise to survive in having a healthy mental and emotional state of being.
In my book Fit 2 Love: How to Get Physically, Emotionally, and Spiritually Fit to Attract the Love of Your Life–the love of your life is you. To love yourself means believing in your own worthiness, as well as caring for every facet of your life. Without loving yourself first, you set up a rollercoaster of dependency upon other people to make you feel good. Just like with any substance addiction, the search for love to fulfill us can spiral out of control and cause unnecessary heartache. There is another way.
You train people how to treat you- they take their cues from you. The first step to changing your relationships is to work on the one that is most neglected- the one with yourself. This will not only help you love your body and take better care of it, it will also send the message that you are important and you care about yourself. Follow these simple tips and see how differently you feel. Make them part of your daily routine and watch your relationships transform.
- Clean the Slate- do a body and life detox.
- Change one thing about your workout routine- add some isometric training or change the way you do your cardio.
- Schedule one meal a day that you make with your hands. Spend some quality, loving time with your food.
- Wear sexy underwear under your work clothes and even to bed! Stimulate and adorn your body by treating it with love and respect.
- Buy a journal and write 5 things you appreciate every day.
- Take a ballroom dance class- alone or with friends. Get some exercise, enjoy some music and meet new people!
- Buy yourself flowers. Treat yourself exactly the way you would want to be treated by someone else whether you are single or already have a partner.
- Be the example of how you want to be treated- that’s the bottom line!
Many people have unrealistic expectations of what is possible and what they are willing to do to achieve the body they want. Commonly, I hear a couch potato who hasn’t exercised in years want to have the lean, toned, and perfect swimsuit model body. “I want to have a six pack. I want to be less than 18% body fat, have more energy, and I want it all in six months.” Health and fitness are a habit, not an event. There is a progression to changing your body, and it will take time if you want it to last.
Overcoming emotional hurdles can take some time, but you have the opportunity everyday to decide to love and accept yourself exactly the way you are as you start your new fitness and self-care program. My 6 Week Beach Body Program is designed to help you reprogram your mind with ease by using hypnosis and creative visualizations so you can stop battling feelings of hatred and disgust toward your body. You can sample some of the tools we use for free, visit 6weekbeachbody.com
Fitness can help your physical, mental and emotion state on a daily basis. Make sure to find something you enjoy doing and know that you are making a huge difference in your health and well being every time you move your body. Live your best life!