Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Exercise, Creativity, and Health

Let your inner child (or your real child) enjoy a walk in the park
I've never considered myself an athletic person. Sure, I played soccer for a while and ran track in middle school, but I'd never considered myself coordinated. If I made the track team, it's only because of sheer stubbornness--I was usually dead last in any long distance runs we did. Yet, for all that, I enjoy physical activity and I've found that it has huge benefits for my mental health and creativity.

While running wasn't my thing, I love a good long walk, especially if I'm in a beautiful park surrounded by fresh air and growing things. My husband and I often spend the weekend exploring parks throughout DFW, including the Arbor Hills Nature Preserve and the Katy Trail. Being in nature refreshes and inspires me, and regular walking makes me feel calm and centered. There's plenty of evidence that outdoor activity is great for your physical health, but regular exercise also fights depression more effectively than SSRIs (note: I'm not a doctor, so please don't stop taking your meds unless a real doctor tells you to). It's also associated with creativity and helps you learn more effectively.
Let the blue bonnets make you happy and creative
Sadly, many people dislike exercise. I blame gym class and high-pressure kids' sports for this. Too many people associate exercise with being picked last for dodge ball or pressured by their doctors/parents/society to lose weight. Yet physical activity can be enjoyable, refreshing, and non-competitive. You don't have to torture yourself doing a repetitive, boring routine you hate in a gym (though I don't mind going to the gym if the weather's bad. I just listen to an audio book or good music, and I'm fine). Fresh air, sunlight, and getting in touch with nature are important for health and mental well-being as well, so enjoy a walk in a beautiful park. It will stimulate your mind and do wonders for your health.

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2 comments:

  1. Well said! I love to exercise and where as I'm not athletic I've found many exercise programs I like to do during the winter to keep me moving inside and I frequently have dance parties with my teenager. But when it is sunny getting outside for a long bike ride or a hike or some stand up paddle boarding is so refreshing! It really can give you a smile that will last a week! :) Stopping by from the #weekendbloghop :)

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    1. Thanks for your comment! I love dancing with my little girl, even though she's still a toddler. Her dancing is so cute! She also loves when I pick her up and we dance around the living room.

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