Guest Post: Start Exercising for Health and Continue for Fun

Jim Rollince, from has a some words of encouragement for the readers of the My Faith and Fitness blog.  Enjoy.

It is true that exercise helps you feel good physically and emotionally. It is also a fact that it doesn’t take an Olympic size exercise program to achieve positive results. Just a few changes in your daily routine can increase energy and self-esteem. These changes can also help improve your social as well as your professional relationships.

Experts agree that there is a significant correlation between working out and feeling good. The body releases endorphins through physical activity. Endorphins are chemicals released from the pituitary gland that create a feeling of euphoria. This energized feeling will often last throughout the day.

An article written by Len Kravitz, Ph.D., discusses the link between exercise and depression. Studies have shown that people who are clinically depressed tend to be less active than average adults. Research also suggests that a single intensive workout and long term exercising can both ease depression. Dr. Kravitz also reports that people are better able to handle stress when they workout, especially when it is aerobic exercise.

It’s not only a chemical reaction that creates a feeling of well-being. With regular exercise your health will improve, and excess weight will be lost. This can help increase confidence and improve self-image. Increased confidence can help you handle anxiety and react positively to daily challenges.

The first step is creating an exercise program that you can stick with. Making a resolution to jog an hour a day is not realistic if you’ve been a couch potato. Trying to do too much too soon will only end in pain, disappointment and failure. Start slow, and work up to your optimum fitness level.

Some people prefer to exercise using home gym equipment because they enjoy the feeling of being able to exercise in the comfort and privacy of their home. Ellipticals are great for people who are just beginning an exercise program. This low impact exercise helps reduce risk of injury, and the difficulty can be increased as the body adapts to the workout.

A treadmill can also be a great addition to a home gym. It can be adjusted as your physical condition improves, and you can watch television while working out. Treadmills are also easier on the feet than running outdoors because the padded surface helps decrease impact to the joints.

If you prefer an outdoor workout, there are a variety of options available that will keep the workout from becoming an unwanted chore. If you like to walk or jog, consider taking a different route each day; Research the local area to find walking and bike trails. Invite a friend to walk along, especially if you can meet regularly. You will be less apt to forego the outing if someone is joining you. Change your routine with each season. This will help accommodate for the weather and keep you from getting bored.

Many people feel that they don’t have time for exercise, or they are too tired after a busy day to attempt any extra activity. There is always a way to squeeze exercise into even the busiest schedule. If you think of exercise as a priority, it will be easier to fit it into the daily routine.

There are numerous small changes you can make each day to help increase your activity level. When shopping, park in the first open space instead of driving around looking for a spot by the door. This has the added benefit of saving on gas consumption. Whenever possible, take the stairs! Running both up and down stairs has benefits. When walking anywhere, pick up the pace; a fast pace increases the heart rate.

If you want to feel better, but have a condition that prevents a regular workout routine, consult your physician. He or she will refer you to a specialist who can design an exercise program specifically for someone with your needs. Don’t let any roadblocks prevent you from feeling better.