Health & Fitness: Exercise helps you feel better, make better choices

Published 5:17 pm Monday, June 21, 2021

Health & Fitness by Bill Bromeland

I’m not going to go on a long tirade about how exercise improves mental health because I think we all already know that.  If you require proof, the first three links on Google when you search the heading are links to scholarly articles connecting exercise and mental health. What I will do is give you my personal experience of how interconnected the two are for me.

Bill Bromeland

The following for me are cited as evidence that exercise improves my mental health:

1. My wife tolerates me much better after I’ve worked out. Some of you know me and know that’s true.

2. Decisions I’ve made in the day prior to a workout, tend to be revisited (if they can be) post workout.

3. I went to college and there’s still no better high than a runner’s high.

4. I was at a point in my life before I rediscovered exercise where “fun wasn’t fun anymore.”

5. Fun is fun now.

6. I keep exercising. Why?

7. Friends!

8. Working out provides me direction when there seems to be none anywhere else.

9. My dog likes me better when I’m active and I’m sure yours does, too.

10. I can’t feel good about my parenting skills all of the time, but I can feel good that I’m setting a good example.

Feeling good is really what it’s all about, isn’t it? I can tell you one thing with absolute certainty: Exercise for me stopped being about looking a certain way a long, long, long time ago. Exercise for me, is a coping mechanism that I’m quite sure I would have a hard time surviving without and the people in my life undoubtedly agree with that sentiment.

In a world full of uncertainty, it is relatively certain that I will work out tomorrow, and also likely that it will make me feel good — as based on my experience, that’s what it tends to do. The cycle of better decisions and being nicer to people and feeling better continues. Exercise for me has never been about perfection, it has always been about improvement, and that improvement, today, settles between my ears.