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why are we working out?

Posted by Chad on September 5, 2013 at 12:50 AM

I haven't posted anything in a while.  People who believe and think the way I do are almost always posting eloquent ideas, theories, and writings...so I will continue to pass those along whenever I think they are pertinent to someone's situation.


Today I woud like to bring up a question...why do we exercise?  I think we have seen enough reason to exercise as it pertains to health benefits.  The other main reason we hear is of course, to look better naked...or on the beach, right?


Well, there is another reason that isn't talked about enough.  This reason, in my opinion, is the most important...that is of nervous system regulation.  Like we read all the time, "exercise relieves stress" but how?  If a person is stuck in the fight or flight response (their autonomic nervous system is "on" all the time) does it really matter how much they exercise?


Have we all heard someone say that they go in for a massage, and it feels good for a while, but then fairly quickly, the tightness or stress "comes back?"  How do we keep stress from coming back?


Our brains do not distinguish between stressors, a job deadine or a lion chasing you.  What then is the difference between these two?  A physical response!  Very rarely in today's vocational world, do we have to run or fight or climb or swim or throw something heavy to physically respond to a stressor.  THIS is why it is MOST important to exercise...for regulation of the nervous system.  The trick is, to know this and think about it!


When you finish with a workout, or playtime, take a few minutes to reflect on the movements you did.  Take a few minutes of calm, either lying down or leaning back or being seated, to drink in what you just accomplished and let your nervous system pendulum swing from the ANS to PNS (turn away from fight or flight being stuck in the on position.)  I personally don't stretch to be flexible, I like positions that allow me to relax, to not feel taxed in any way...to DOWN-REGULATE my nervous system.

(my son down regulating after climbing!)


This is how we regulate our hormones for weight management, for sleep, for health.  We can't be stuck in any one rhythm...we need them all to regulate our well being.   Think about down-regulation after your next few workouts, and see if you don't feel better for hours afterward!


Have fun moving!

Categories: Mobility, Mindful Conditioning, Fitness/Tasks

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