Bigger Smiles Caused by Exercise??

Right after an incredible workout 🙂 Why are we SOOOO happy!? 🙂

Holy geez. I had a FIELD day this morning with this topic. I have been thinking a LOT lately about how I am really reaching that point where I need exercise all the time. Well…we all do…but without it in our life, it gets a lot easier to THINK you don’t need it. When you start exercising on the regular, something happens; you begin CRAVING it when you go a day or two without it (Nick WARNED me this would happen :-p). I noticed (it was VERY noticable to me) last week that when I went 2 days without exercising, I didn’t feel like myself at ALL! Monday night I was back in the gym, and back to feeling like me.

We’ve been told a million times that exercising makes you feel good for a lot of different reasons…but I’m going to do it again. I’m not an expert in exercise, hell, this is the first time in my life I’ve gone 5 consecutive months of CONSISTENT exercise in my freakin’ LIFE! I’m dang proud of that by the way 😉 By living this, however, I feel like I grasp it soooo much more than if I had learned this in a book. I FEEL the difference. It wasn’t some scientist telling me how I would feel, I FEEL IT!

Even though I JUST told you the best thing for me was EXPERIENCING the difference, I had to have enough information to convince me (I was a stubborn one) that exercising regularly was important enough to make a routine in my life. I honestly didn’t like to exercise…at all. Now I’m considering taking a comp hour on Friday so I can make the 5:30pm class so I get my 3 days in this week. QUITE a difference. So, with that being said, I thought I would relay some interesting information I found this morning.

Why exercise? Because the mind and body are connected. Exercise is AMAZING for your mind (and your booty too :)). It not only tones your body and makes you feel super sexy and confident, boosts your metabolism so that your assets are working hard FOR you, but it also regulates stress hormones like cortisol. Now this is one that I’m very interested in. I am pretttty sure you’ve gathered about me by now that I get stressed a litttle on the easy side. Guilty as charged. I make mountains out of mole hills, again, guilty as charged. So, I’m now realizing that exercise is regulating that for me, and I notice it right away when I’m NOT exercising.

“Many of us don’t know how to face, experience, work through and let go of emotional pain. There is a way to resolve these problems and this method of resolving emotional pain is NOT something the big pharmaceutical companies want you to know.” -Bob Livingstone

Exercise has been proven guys, to be AT LEAST, if not more effective, for people who are struggling with depression and anxiety. What’s the BIG KICKER though??? NO SIDE EFFECTS!!!

Side effects of antidepressants:

nausea, insomnia, anxiety (?????? really???), restlessness, decreased sex drive (boo), dizziness, weight gain (oh that will help your self-esteem), tremors, sweating, sleepiness, dry mouth (num num), diarrhea, constipation, headaches. (www.helpguide.com)

Sounds realllly helpful…

Get this!!:

“While some side effects go away after the first few weeks of drug treatment, other persist and may even get worse” (www.helpguide.com)

Go do some sprints, you will AUTOMATICALLY feel better (you still need to work through your issues, but that is ONE LESS STRESS to your body at the moment so that you can have more room to deal with the others in your mind!)

Okay…so the therapist convinced you that you neeeeeeeed drugs to feel “normal” again. They got you. Now, however, you’re realizing that if you may want to do this on your own, that you don’t want to be on these meds forever. Now what?

withdrawal symptoms:

anxiety, agitation, depression, mood swings, flu-like symptoms, irritability and aggression (aggression??), insomnia, nightmares, nausea and vomiting, dizziness and loss of coordination, stomach cramping and pain, ELECTRIC SHOCK SENSATIONS (what the heck!!!), tremors and muscle spasms.

“There is a danger that, in some people, antidepressant treatment will cause an INCREASE, rather than a decrease, in depression. The suicide risk is particularly great during the first month to two months of treatment.” (www.helpguide.com)

They actually listed Antidepressant WARNING SIGNS, which included suicidal thoughts or attempts on there…

Now that we have THAT out of the way, let’s talk about the POSITIVE perks (they’re all positive ps:) of exercise 🙂

~While you’re exercising the chemistry in your brain actually changes so that you feel a sense of calm. Had a big fight with your lovvvver??? Go for a run! Have writers block? Get the creative juices A FLOWIN’ with some squats and pushups!

~Not only will you feel calm, but you will feel SUPER proud of yourself and accomplished from the exercise. Think about those days when you just want to stay in bed and sleep another hour, but you get up anyway and do a workout. How do you feel after?? Do you think, “Damn, I realllly wish I had stayed in bed that extra hour!” or do you feel like EVERYTHING runs smoother that morning, EVERYTHING feels better, and EVERYTHING IS better!?! I know I do!

~Can’t stop thinking the same things over and over again and they’re completely stressing you out?!! Well exercise offers a healthy distraction to this very unhealthy thought pattern. You may even feel better and more confident after the exercise so that you can go head to head with that emotional pain/stress and deal with it once and for all!

~As I stated before, it has been PROVEN that exercise improves depression and anxiety! Period!

~Here’s one you may or may not have known: it makes you SMARTER! Okay, here comes the sciency part. Bob Livingstone talks about how vigorous exercise causes cells to form dense interconnected webs that make the brain run a lot faster, and a lot more efficiently! Think about it: exercise helps the heart pump more blood to the brain, more blood equals more oxygen, which equals better nourished brain cells!

“The process starts in the muscles. Every time a bicep or quad contracts and releases, it sends out chemicals, including a protein called IGF-1 that travels through the bloodstream, across the blood-brain barrier and into the brain itself. There, IGF-1 takes on the role of foreman in the body’s neurotransmitter factory. It issues orders to ramp up production of several chemicals, including one called brain-derived neurotrophic factor, or BDNF. Ratey, author of the upcoming book “Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain,” calls this molecule “Miracle-Gro for the brain.” It fuels almost all the activities that lead to higher thought. 

With regular exercise, the body builds up its levels of BDNF, and the brain’s nerve cells start to branch out, join together and communicate with each other in new ways. This is the process that underlies learning: every change in the junctions between brain cells signifies a new fact or skill that’s been picked up and stowed away for future use. BDNF makes that process possible. Brains with more of it have a greater capacity for knowledge.” ~Mary Carmicheal 

Okay, earlier when I said there were NO side effects of exercise, I lied:

Side effects may cause: buns of steel, tight abs, muscles popping up out of places you didn’t know there were muscles, people of the opposite sex (or the same even! haha) noticing your sexiness all of a sudden, boyfriend/gf/husband/wife cannot seem to take his/his hands off of you, large boost of confidence, more intelligence, more focus/clarity, less stress, less body fat, glowing skin, happier more often, etc. 

Any questions? 🙂

Have a fantastic day!! 🙂

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7 thoughts on “Bigger Smiles Caused by Exercise??

  1. steelbladeninja says:

    Nice job Jen! [and SPARK by Ratey is fantastic].

    Helping a friend get motivated to hit the gym last night, I gave her this advice that might help your readers get up and get out:

    “Think about the body you REALLY want and how the gym today/tonight is going to help you create it. Don’t just think about the body you’d accept.”

  2. Judi says:

    Jen,

    I don’t think we’ve talked since high school but I was on facebook and saw a link to your blog. I have been reading it for the last hour or so, and I have to say I feel better about a lot of things. Your blog about failure only happening if you quit really hit home because I am trying to find a job and move back to the east coast after graduation in May. Preferably the Boston area near a few friends. It’s not easy sending out resume after resume and sometimes I do feel like a failure (especially in this economy). I worry to much about everything…things that don’t even matter. I’ve also been trying to revamp my thinking on food and what it is to me. I’ve found that in my current way of thinking food is a comfort, a way to celebrate things, instead of thinking about it as fuel. Well now that I’ve written you a book and part of my life stroy I just wanted to say that your blog is simply amazing. I love it and I have subscribed to it because you have really inspired me (cheesy but true :)) to make changes to my life so that I’m living the way I want to be. It’s a comfort knowing that I’m not the only one that struggles with all of these things…and p.s. I couldn’t live without coffee either!

    • nadeaujl5 says:

      Judi, it was so nice to read your comment 🙂 I tried over and over again to revamp my thinking on food…and it just clicked 6 months ago (or at least that’s what it felt like. It was probably a combination of the community I had/support, the information, the fact that I finally really owned the consequences of what would happen to me if I DIDN’T change the way I ate and moved…). Everyone gets it at their own pace, at their own time. So glad that you felt this was helpful for you 🙂 I hope you DO move back to the east coast! Just keep at it!! Have a FANTASTIC day Judi 😀 😀

  3. Emily says:

    Jen,

    It was so nice meeting you in person last night, and I’m sure we will see each other again soon! Brandon “recommends” that I go to these workshops, but I know he’s saying “get your butt to the class and get out there to live a great life!” He’s awesome, and that advice that he gave a friend (where he commented above) was the one and only! Many times I have trouble waking up and looking at the alarm clock for it to reach “5:11am,” especially on the mornings that the sun isn’t shining! To say the least, winter is when I gain “my hibernation weight” (or at least that’s what I call it). You know, those pesky 5 pounds you gain when eating all that crap over the holidays and it sort of sticks around until about march when the weather turns. Well, not this year, my friend! Brandon has really opened my eyes to health and fitness, and I continue to learn more about myself and the field everyday.

    The workshop last night was fantastic and while I knew exercise was good for you to do at least 30 minutes everyday, I didn’t know ALL the POSITIVE effects it has on you. It really opened my eyes.

    Have a wonderful day and stay dry!

    Best,
    Emily

    • nadeaujl5 says:

      HEYYYYYY EMILY! It was a PLEASURE to meet you last night as well!! I hope I do see you around real soon 🙂 and I hope one of the reasons for that is that you join Crossfit 😀 Have a great day!!

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