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"This might sound silly, but Mary, what you just said about exercise purging the mind and helping you move forward, struck a chord. I was debating fitting in a yoga class today and I so needed that reminder; it goes beyond the physical, but for some reason I tend to forget that if I haven’t exercised in a while. "

March 20th, 2009 No Comments

—Viewer Bonnie from our TMI weekly comments

I didn’t talk about this today in conjunction with the episode, but to me, it’s equally important: ::

Exercise benefits your body not only physically, but also mentally.  Equally as much I believe.

First of all, because you are distracted by the exercise movements, your mind has a chance to let go of all the other stresses in your life.  When you take the time to focus you, you will realize, the burden of your never-ending to-do list or that jackass at work is manageable.  And by refocusing your mind for an hour, it’s like hitting the refresh button and coming back with a clear head and a stronger sense of self.  You’ll walk away from the gym with a feeling of relief, like you can breath.

You can also draw a parallel between challenges inside and outside of the gym.  Whether you notice it or not, you talk to yourself in your head as you exercise.  “You can do it,” and “Only one more,” or “Come on, come on.”  You complete the exercise and move on.  We ecounter the same thing in real life.  Challenges arise we have to deal with and somewhere you must find the strength to resolve the issue.  If you are able to overcome obstacles in the gym, you will take that mental strength out into the world so when shit really hits the fan, you’ll be prepared to manage the problem.

For some people, the gym in itself is a huge burden and source of stress.  They feel like they have to go.  We all feel that way at some point.  That’s why it’s important to praise yourself for at least getting there and working out at some level, even if it’s not the intensity you’re used to.  It also helps to find activities that don’t seem like working out because you enjoy them: boxing, basketball, swimming, racquetball, spinning, hiking, whatever.  Don’t be so hard on yourself.  Anything is something and can be a stepping stone to getting into a routine.  You’ll find comfort in that regimen and will then be able to purge your stress on a regular basis.

Bonus!  Because your body is tired and your mind is clear, you’ll sleep better. 

Today Bonnie went home and pulled out her yoga mat not because she felt lazy.  Her motivation was to find some mental clarity.  Sure Kelly Ripa arms would be nice, and I would love to be ripped like Angelina, but at the end of the day, it’s my peace of mind and emotional stability that makes me feel better about myself and helps me exude confidence in me being me.