Thursday, April 24, 2008

Exercise as Therapy

I had my friend Chandler along for walking club at noon. It was nice that someone was with me because my tummy was bothering me and I knew it would pass with a little workout and good conversation. It worked.

That brought me to two ways that exercise works as therapy:

1. The physical - I find that if I get moving, a lot of the time whatever ails me slips away as my lungs breathe deeper and I start to sweat. This isn't always the case, but often.

It's why when people say they feel tired or have gout or are diagnosed with arthritis, the first thing they are told is to get moving. Doctors are super fast to prescribe walking. That's because almost everyone can do it, it's low impact, it's free and frankly it is WAY easy. Any form of exercise will have a similar affect.

2. The mental - Half way through a 30 minute walk today with Chandler we both found ourselves letting go of chit-chat and having a real talk. We vented about office politics and what it's like to be in a building that communicates as a building, but not always with each other. It felt great.

That's when I reiterated something I had forgotten, because I really haven't worked out with anyone since last fall - once the endorphins start flowing, so does the talk. It's cathartic, it's a release and it moves the stress out of the picture. Or at the very least, helps put it in perspective.

I've said before when I am working out on my own, about 15 minutes into the sweat and the crap falls away. Guy problems, work problems, they come out of my pores and I am one with the music. Since I release endorphins in the workout, when the issues come back to my mind after, I feel better and think clearer, so it's easier to deal.

So, forget taking to the couch for therapeutic rest or discussion. Hit the streets and get the physical and mental dealt with all in one shot.

Your in mental and physical health, Kate

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