Under Stress? Exercise More, Not Less
I spent many weeks this year with my family in Utah, shuttling back and forth to the hospital, where mom received chemotherapy. One morning, she was excited to tell me that there was a 1 mile jog/walk trail around the hospital. So while mom received her treatment, I went running. I came back sweaty, but I could tell she was proud of me for doing it.
Sooner or later, we all experience hardship, but nobody feels like exercising when faced with stressful life circumstances, such as the death of a parent.
During times of stress, I now believe it’s important to exercise more — not less. Exercise works about as well as antidepressants to lift your mood. My doctor calls it our “natural morphine.”
I know my mom wants me to take excellent care of myself. So I’ve started running again and am making more healthful food choices. As HER mother (my 79-year-old grandmother) says: “Food is my medicine.” You don’t have to break the bank to make healthy choices, just be smart about it.
It might be hard to get started—that’s inertia. There’s no way around it. So, put on some shoes and shorts, grab your iPod, and just do it.
It will get easier once you start, I promise.