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The weather outside may be frightful, but the fire (or couch) is quite delightful. That is why many of us who live where the four seasons are very distinct tend to exercise less in winter.
Unfortunately, stress doesn’t take a holiday during the holidays, and the winter doldrums of January and February bring their own brand of stress. When we should make a point of exercising regularly, we are often found sitting and snacking.
So, this is a reminder that any type of exercise, any activity that gets us moving, will relax our body and mind. Focusing on the body’s movements helps us shed the day’s tensions whether we shoot some hoops, swim laps, or participate in a yoga class. Quite often, the relaxed concentration we get from exercising stays with us and smooths out the rest of our day.
Movement stimulates the manufacture of endorphins, one of our body’s mood-lifting neurotransmitters that promotes a sense of calm well-being. Exercise is also associated with reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression, partly because it helps us sleep through the night. Plus, taking good care of yourself contributes to a sense of empowerment and confidence.
Source: Mayo Clinic
Photo credit: Alan Cleaver / flickr creative commons
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