Exercise and Our Minds
As we continue, begin, start again our health and wellness journey, there are certain factors that come into play. Other than all the numerous PHYSICAL health benefits exercising has for someone, there is also the psychological aspect of participation in physical activity. Our bodies are constantly changing as we put them to the test with our workouts, however (usually) unknowingly, are minds are experiencing it as well. We become more disciplined, we have grit, we don’t misplace energy as often, we reach our goals & push past them, our mood improves, we have less fatigue, we start to think better of ourselves, relationships improve, and the list goes on. These consistent subtle changes (or growth moments, however you’d like to phrase it for yourself), are what makes all the difference when deciding to follow an exercise regimen.
Just for context, here’s the technical definition of all we’ve already begun talking about. Exercise Psychology emerged from two different disciplines; psychology- the field of study concerned with the various mental processes (perceptions, cognitions, emotions) people experience and use in all aspects of their lives and exercise science- devoted to the study of all aspects of sport, recreation, exercise/fitness, rehabilitative behavior (Lox, Curt, et al).
According to The Psychology of Exercise, “An increasing number of participants have chosen to embark on an exercise regime in order to increase sensations of vigor (energy), improve sleep patterns, or reduce levels of pain or fatigue”. This is one of many examples for how exercise improves quality of life.
No matter the type of physical activity one chooses to participate in, they will reap the benefits. Not everyone will experience these feelings of well being (mind, body, and soul) unless they chose a type of exercise that works for THEM. Too many individuals decide to workout the same way they see their friends, coworkers, instagram trainers, etc exercise. Following another person’s choice might not be the right one for YOU. Find what works for you, something you can commit to and be consistent with, something you look forward to doing multiple times a week, something that makes you feel proud to do it and experience the sense of accomplishment for doing so.
The mind body connection is an amazing thing. Recognizing that and understanding that what you do to your body affects your mind and visa versa, will only make understanding yourself and what you need that much easier. Reap the physical benefits of being active and your quality of life will change as well!
Lox, Curt, et al. The Psychology of Exercise: Integrating Theory and Practice. Routledge, 2020.