Cowritten by: Drs. Yvonne & Scott Rheinschmidt Ph D LPC
“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.” (1 Cor 9:24)
Oh boy, if we didn’t exercise daily before the pandemic, we can admit that it has been difficult
during these hot pandemic summer days to get motivated to start. For those who have not stopped their daily exercise routines or have developed one during these past pandemic months, keep up the great work! Some of us have been working from home and find ourselves moving less.
In this Mindful Moment note, we would like to stress the importance of exercise and how it supports our mental health.
Social distancing, lockdowns, quarantines and self-isolation makes us wonder when we can get our regular lives back. Today, we invite you to weather the storm of the pandemic by exercising, by moving. Strong evidence from many studies shows that engaging in regular exercise offers a host of health benefits. According to the Harvard Medical School, regular exercise promotes better sleep, eases depression, anxiety, stress, and not only boost mental sharpness but improves cognitive function. Exercise has also been found to alleviate ymptoms such as low self-esteem. There are many chemical changes that occur in our bodies when we exercise when we move.
Most of us take a significant amount of mental aerobics just to get ourselves convinced to do an outdoor workout during the dog days of summer, but exercise doesn’t have to be so laboring. Exercise is about movement. We are extending an invitation and hopefully a positive
motivation for you to take time to exercise, to move. Small adjustments like walking or pacing
around your home as you pray the rosary and of course, taking time in the cool moments during morning or evening hours to take a short daily walk will bring mental health benefits.
Granted, coming up with reasons to why we should exercise can be a struggle. If you find
yourself struggling more during these hot pandemic summer days, know that you are not
alone. The pandemic has taken our ability to walk freely as when we did when we went to the
gym, shopped, worked, or even when we went to school. Know that by walking more within our homes, yards and even neighborhoods can be beneficial.
The prize in exercising/moving are the mental health benefits. Remember that our bodies are
temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 6:19) and we are responsible of taking care of ourselves. As John Paul II noted, “Christian life is like a rather demanding sport, combining all of a person’s
energies to direct them towards the perfection of character, towards a goal which realizes in our humanity ‘the measure of Christ’s gift’.” (Eph 4:7)