My dog, Ava, is pictured here. I walk her, I run with her, I play with her, I let her swim, I throw the tennis ball to her across a field 100 times.
It’s empowering to think of exercise as a way of helping yourself, but sometimes we may feel guilty for taking too much time for ourselves. We may find that we have obligations that we must fulfill to other people.
The good news is exercise helps more than just yourself.
In a literal sense, you can exercise your pets (or your kids). When I babysit, I run and play outside with the kids. And I know it is helping the children, parents, and myself.
I believe that it is important for kids especially to explore and be active. This is how they learn about the world, become independent, and grow.
I remember during my childhood summers my parents wouldn’t let us come inside throughout the day. We would put on our sneakers in the morning and be out the door until dusk. My brothers and I still talk about how valuable it was to grow up this way. To this day we are all at our happiest when spending time outdoors. We’re all open to new forms of exercise but we have each developed our own passions. Colin loves skateboarding, Brian loves swimming, running and yoga and I enjoy running and yoga. We all love to hike, walk, rock-climb, bike, canoe–you name it, we like it.
In a less direct sense than helping those that we exercise with, being active ensures that we are more apt to deal with the everyday stresses that life brings. We are more confident, calm, and overall happier. Therefore, so are the people that we are around.
Just the other day my brother Colin came home from landscaping for ten hours straight and although he could barely stand up, stated, “It’s amazing how much happier I feel when I am exercising.” He observed that on the rainy days when he was living in France and he didn’t get outside much, he felt a little blue, and the stress of applying for jobs was too much to handle. Now that he’s reclaimed his healthy lifestyle, he feels he has such a firm grasp on the application process. And he’s noticing that successes are coming more readily. Whether this is a result of his mindset or his approach, it doesn’t really matter. The point is that he feels in control of his life. Rather than being stressed, Colin is content and taking things in stride.
And this is always a good place to be. For ourselves and for everyone around us.
Find that good place–get some exercise! It doesn’t matter what form that takes, just discover something that you like to do. Exercise truly helps the world become a better place.
A lifestyle blog about veganism, mood swings, & other chatter.