The #1 New Year’s resolution in America: “I want to lose weight and tone up.”

1 Corinthians 6:20 (NIV)
Therefore honor God with your body.

One of the ways we can honor God with our bodies is by exercising and staying in shape.  Last week we talked about the physical benefits of regular exercise.  This week we are going to talk about the mental and emotional benefits of regular exercise.  There are 3 great reasons why exercise makes you feel so good, not just physically, but mentally and emotionally as well.

The first reason you feel so good when you exercise is because when you exercise, your pituitary glands release endorphins into the body.  Endorphins are sometimes called the “feel good” hormones because they are 100 times stronger than morphine.  Imagine how great you would feel if you could take a pill that was 100 times stronger than morphine, but with none of the side effects.  Imagine what your body would feel like after 30 minutes of exercise with endorphins flooding your blood stream like water rushing over Niagara Falls.  Imagine no more!  Exercise is that magic pill.  Whenever you feel a little down, just take a walk around the block.  Whenever you feel a little bit stressed, just go to your local health club and work out for 30 minutes or so.

The second reason you feel so good when you exercise is because you are cleaning and purifying your blood.  As your blood begins to flow more rapidly, it goes through a process called oxygenation.  When you exercise, toxins that accumulate in your blood are eliminated by the increase in oxygen in your blood.  Your blood is like the oil in a car.  If the oil is dirty, the car doesn’t run as well.  Likewise, if your blood is dirty your body can’t function at an optimal level.  You feel lethargic and fatigue sets in.  Exercise cleans and detoxifies your blood and you feel great as a result.

The third reason you feel so good when you exercise is because exercise reduces stress.  Most people equate stress with something that needs to be avoided, but it is not the stressor that is detrimental to your health, but the inability to control the stressor.  But there is one stressor we can control.  There is one kind of stress that we should seek out and make a regular part of our lives.  The stress I am referring to is regular exercise.

From the perspective of the body, the chemical demands you place on it through exercise are indistinguishable from those placed on it when you have to extricate yourself from some emergency.  The clear and obvious difference is that exercise is something you control.  You determine when you start, you determine the intensity, and you determine when you stop.  Exercise is a means of exposing the body to stress, and thereby, training it.  Exercise helps you train your body to deal with stress!

By putting physical stress on the body in the form of exercise, you increase your capacity for managing mental and emotional stress.  Fact: People who exercise regularly experience fewer negative-debilitating emotions, such as depression, fear, and anxiety.

Exercise is a means whereby we can manage stress, and stress, previously thought of as something that we should avoid, can now be pursued and used as a natural drug to make us feel better.  We can actually turn the tables on stress with regular exercise.  Regular exercise is a form of positive stress, and when we seek it out, will not only improve our mental and emotional well being, but will also help us to deal with the so-called negative stress we so often talk about and needlessly experience in our lives.

Here are the 3 reasons exercise makes you feel so good:

  1. Exercise releases endorphins into the body that are 100 times stronger than morphine, but with none of the side effects.
  2. Exercise reduces lethargy and fatigue by cleaning and detoxifying your blood
  3. Exercise reduces stress and eliminates depression, fear, and anxiety.

In addition to the physical benefits of regular exercise, your mental fitness and your emotional health are two additional reasons to start and maintain a regular exercise program.  The reason this is true is because exercising makes you feel great!

I talk more about how easy it is to enjoy the benefits of regular exercise in my message: Physical Prosperity: How to Add Life to Your Years and Years to Your Life.  If you haven’t secured your CD yet click here.