Energy Booster #4: Love Those Endorphins

    Let’s wrap up this week, with a well-known but often misunderstood energy booster—cardio exercise. Did you know this has been proven as effective as coffee, energy drinks, and anti-depressants without the side effects?

    “Exercise! Really, that again?”

    If you’re thinking that, consider the possibility that you could experience exercise differently.

    On the other hand, if you’re obsessed with exercise, there may be a way to have a healthier relationship with it.

    Here are some of the powerful benefits of daily cardio exercise:

    *Boosts your memory, mental clarity, and brain function

    *Initiates your body’s natural relaxation response, counters stress hormones, and lowers anxiety

    *Improves your heart and lung function—promotes cardio-vascular health, lowers blood pressure, balances your cholesterol, and helps you breathe easier and get more oxygen and energy from your breathing

    *Burns calories and metabolizes excess body weight

    *Lubes your joints which relieves stiffness and increases comfort in your body

    *Increases your energy and endurance for everything you want to do in life

    *Initiates the release of good-feeling neuro-chemicals called endorphins that help your relax, feel positive, and more energized

    O.K so you already knew it was good for you, but how much do you have to do and how hard will it be?

    A daily dose of 15-20 minutes of continuous, whole-body, moderately paced activity will do the trick. You can do it at a level that you can feel yourself breathing a little harder, deeper, and more rapidly, but you can comfortably hold a conversation.

    You don’t have to run a marathon, or make your way to the gym, or make a huge commitment. Just get out and move your body in whatever way you enjoy a little everyday. Whether it’s walking, biking, swimming, dancing, playing a game, or hiking in nature, do it with a relaxed present mind and enjoy the good feeling.

    Some days it may be a challenge to get started. That’s O.K.—any little bit is to the good. Tell yourself you’ll just get moving for few minutes. Once you get going, your body will start feeling better, your brain will perk up, your mood will lift, and you’ll probably go longer.

    Breathe deeply and enjoy the feeling!

    Kevin Schoeninger

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