Mind and Body. . .

Summer is coming and many people will focus on their looks and being ready for summer attire. But our health should be a year round focus and its not just about how we look.

You already know that exercise is good for your body. But did you know it can also boost your mood, improve your sleep, and help you deal with depression, anxiety, stress, and more? The Buddha often referred to action and intent as the most suitable analogy for the Noble Truths: Know the sickness, Abandon the cause of the sickness, Aspire the cure and Rely upon your actions. In the same way one should: Know the suffering, Abandon the cause, Obtain the cessation And follow the Path.

Exercise is not just about aerobic capacity and muscle size. Sure, exercise can improve your physical health and your physique, trim your waistline, improve your sex life, and even add years to your life. But that’s not what motivates most people to stay active. When we exercise regularly it gives us an enormous sense of well-being. We feel more energetic throughout the day, sleep better at night, have sharper memories, and feel more relaxed and positive about ourselves and our lives. It’s also a powerful medicine for many common mental health challenges.

You don’t have to spend hours in the gym. With a little mindfulness you can turn many activities into exercise that benefits both mind and body.

Move in and around your home. Clean the house, wash the car, tend to the yard and garden, mow the lawn with a push mower, sweep the sidewalk or patio with a broom.

Sneak activity in at work or on the go. Bike or walk to an appointment rather than drive, use stairs instead of elevators, briskly walk to the bus stop then get off one stop early, park at the back of the lot and walk into the store or office, or take a vigorous walk during your coffee break.

Get active with the family. Jog around the soccer field during your kid’s practice, make a neighborhood bike ride part of your weekend routine, play tag with your children in the yard, go canoeing at a lake, walk the dog in a new place.

Get creative with exercise ideas. Pick fruit at an orchard, boogie to music, go to the beach or take a hike, gently stretch while watching television, organize an office bowling team, take a class in martial arts, dance, or yoga.

So make exercise a fun part of your everyday life just like meditation. In fact exercise can be a form of meditation if you focus on your efforts and mindsets while exercising (my own personal choice). You don’t have to spend hours in a gym or force yourself into long, monotonous workouts to experience the many benefits of exercise. These tips can help you find activities you enjoy and start to feel better, look better, and get more out of life.

Peace and Love, Jim


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