“Start a physical activity program, and keep exercising consistently.” ~Practical Stress Management, John A. Romas and Manoj Sharma
The Oxford dictionary defines machine as “…an apparatus using or applying mechanical power and having several parts, each with a definite function and together performing a particular task.”
The Oxford dictionary defines mechanical as “…relating to physical forces or motion, physical.” If something is mechanical, it is physical.
I propose to you that your body is a machine. You only have to know the basics about machinery to understand that if the machine and its parts are not cared for and maintained, the machine breaks down, is unable to perform its duties and functions. The machine stops working satisfactorily unless it is kept in working order. It has to be taken care of. That is the job of the mechanic.
Your body is your machine and you are its primary mechanic. One of the actions you need to apply to your body machine is that of physical exercise because as the definition of mechanical states, “…relating to physical forces or motion, physical,” the mechanics of your body uses movement to function and requires movement to stay in working order. Regular physical exercise is one way to maintain your body’s overall health.
Think for a minute about eating. The digestion process involves chewing, swallowing, breaking down, distributing, and discarding the resultant waste products. Those are all verbs and verbs are action words. Every system in your body is about movement. It makes sense that movement is the body’s best ally when it comes to achieving optimum health and thereby dealing successfully with stress. Exercise is an amazing tool to deal with stress. Why?
Review points in the U.S. Surgeon General’s Report on physical activity (2004).
“The chief benefits of regular physical activity include:
+Prevention and control of coronary heart disease, stroke, non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, hypertension, osteoporosis, colon cancer, depression, anxiety, and obesity
+Improved heart, lung, and circulatory system function
+Better balance of blood lipids as a result of increasing “good cholesterol,” and lowering “bad cholesterol”
+Improved quality of life
+Enhanced functional independence
+Counterbalancing of adverse effects due to stress
+Maintenance of appropriate body weight
+Slowing down of adverse effects of aging such as memory loss
+Overall improved life expectancy.”
There are eleven positive benefits of regular physical activity listed. Eight of those eleven are related to emotional standards of health. If your emotions are in good health, so is your body. While physical exercise contributes immensely to the overall well being of a person in the mechanical sense, it contributes immensely to how we feel about ourselves and how much control we have over our lives. When we are in control of our lives through the use of healthy options such as exercise, eating right, and accomplishing goals, we are less stressed. Physical exercise gives us a sense of control over ourselves, our situations, and our choices.
What’s most important to remember about how exercise helps us deal with stress besides endorphins, neurogenesis, avoiding disease, and weight management is that regular physical exercise enhances our underlying self-respect. That intangible area of how we feel about ourselves is inexplicably linked to whether we exercise or not. Plain and simple.
Nineteenth century German philosopher Rudolf Steiner is believed to have said, “The first sign of life in a human is movement. The first sign of death in a human is lack of movement.” Our very survival is all about movement. It only makes sense that exercise be an important component of that survival.
What is your plan for exercise today?
There are five primary areas of practice to the Writer Wellness plan. Every other week I will post an idea for relaxation (Monday Meditation,) creative play (Tuesday Tickle,) fitness and exercise (Wednesday Workout,) journaling and misc. (Thursday Thought,) and nutrition (Friday Feast.)
Meanwhile, remember to look for a digital or print copy of Writer Wellness, A Writer’s Path to Health and Creativity at Who Dares Wins Publishing, http://whodareswinspublishing.com.
Be well, write well
Joy E. Held