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The Official Blog of Michael Schoenhofer, Executive Director

Exercise Helps You Feel Good - A Lot!

February 24, 2014

 

How can I create a healthy organism that supports my desire to live fully, joyfully and resiliently?


We all have heard from the time we were young that exercise is important. But no one ever explained to me the connection between exercise and our immune systems which is key to feeling good.

Moderate, regular exercise helps the immune system by moderating the effects of stress. Lowered stress has a beneficial effect on your health. High, constant stress is detrimental to your health. People who experience high stress get more colds, suffer more digestive tract problems and have more frequent bouts of fatigue. Regular exercise provides an outlet consuming much of the nervous energy produced by stress. It also helps indirectly by shifting one's focus away from the external factors producing the stress. Did you ever notice when you are exercising or taking a nice brisk walk – especially if you do it outside that for just a few minutes you are distracted from your cares and worries?

Exercise helps the cardiovascular system, improves blood flow, flushes away toxins from muscles and organs, and helps keep the kidneys and endocrine system working well. It helps remove germs and circulate antibodies. All those promote a healthy immune system by lessening the body's susceptibility to disease, while increasing the strength of the immune system itself.

Exercising increases the body temperature slightly – it mimics a low-grade fever. This is the body's natural response to colds, flu and other diseases. The increased temperature helps kill the infecting organisms. A study at the University of Colorado, Boulder showed that individuals are less likely to get sick after stressful situations when they had already engaged in a regular program of moderate exercise. Those who began to exercise only on the same day as the stressor didn't enjoy those benefits. The secret is to exercise regularly. In other words, it is a PRACTICE.

I don’t care how far, how long, how hard you exercise, to me that doesn’t matter – what does matter is that you do something that you enjoy and you exercise with the intention of getting better, better and better.

So why not get started right now. Stand up. Stretch. Walk around the block.

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