Full-time moms find themselves on their feet most of the time, whilst burning calories at levels higher than what they burn when taking an early morning run. Yet engaging in regular exercise is more than just about burning calories, it’s also about feeling good and maintaining a positive outlook.
House chores and being in the midst of all that is going on in the household can leave you tired and spent, especially now that the kids are home schooling and/or the husband is working-from-home. If you think the house work you do everyday can replace the 30 minutes or so you spend running outdoors, think again.
While you could burn calories by being active the whole day, it can still leave you stressed, anxious and at worst, depressed that you are doing the same things day in, day out. The main benefit of putting yourself in a daily regimen of exercise is to give your brain the chance to produce body chemicals that will get you fired up and feeling happy over the work that is keeping you busy.
The body may be strong but if the brain is weak, you are at risk of losing sight on why you are doing the things you do everyday.
In proceeding with this article, allow us to reference Dr. Kelly McGonigal, a health psychologist, whose lectures at Stanford University delve mainly on ‘science help.’ She focuses on translating into practical strategies the insights offered by psychology and neuroscience, in ways that support health and metal wellness.
What Exercise Can do for Your Brain
We often read about endorphins in relation to exercise, and of how as a brain chemical, it works as a mood booster. Yet according to Dr. Kelly McGonigal, endorphins play only a small part because there are other brain chemicals, such as adrenaline, dopamine and endocannabinoid that exercise releases in our brain. All of them work together to make us feel happy, capable, confident and at the same, feel less anxious and stressed.
Nowadays, who wouldn’t be worried with the ongoing COVID-19 health crisis, and how the pandemic has spawned feelings of isolation by not being able to connect with friends and other family members.
According to Dr. McGonigal, exercise can also boost nerve cell growth, which other experts have proven effective in helping people get over, or combat depression. This health psychologist also recommends exercises that involve outdoor activity because they have an immediate positive effect on moods.
Apparently, the choices include running, jogging, biking, walking or hiking, just to name a few. Personally, I prefer running and walking as they give me a chance to connect with others even just by waving or saying hello to people I pass by. Although we have to maintain a safe distance from other people, running makes me feel that my family and I are not alone in facing the unprecedented challenges that we currently deal with.
Since running makes me less anxious toward how the economic recession will affect us, I feel less guilty about indulging in a pair of chunky running shoes that I’ve been wanting to buy ever since I read about it in a New Balance 993 Review. In fact I’m quite glad I bought one because the cushioning and the arch support provided by the sneakers make the daily running and walking routine effortless.