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Archive for October 7th, 2007

Man on Bike (c) Lynda Bernhardt

The next item on my list of positive coping tools from my post, Positive Coping Tools for Healing from Childhood Abuse, is exercise. For those of you who have never chosen to exercise, this might sound insane. However, those of you who incorporate regular exercise into your life are probably nodding as you read this suggestion.

Exercising does not have to be something grueling. You do not have to join a gym or run five miles a day. Exercising can mean talking a leisurely walk in the park with your dog or a good friend. I like to step up and down on a step stool while I watch my favorite TV shows. I have a friend who loves to go kayaking. You can swim, ride a bike, or do anything else that gets your body moving. Choose something that you enjoy and do it!

Why does exercising help? When you exercise, your body releases endorphins, which make you feel better. Exercise can work as a natural antidepressant, and it costs a lot less, too!!

Many people fail to exercise because they set themselves up for failure. They force themselves to do an activity that they do not enjoy, such as running several miles a day. If you hate doing it, then you are going to find any excuse not to do the activity you have chosen.

Instead, think about what activity you might actually enjoy. Do you prefer to do something outdoors or inside? Do you want to watch TV or read a book while you exercise? Gyms are great for this. Many have treadmills, elliptical machines, and stationary bikes set up in front of televisions. Would you rather exercise with a friend or do it alone?

I used to love strolling my son on long walks with other new mothers. Our babies got to spend time outdoors while we got to chat as we walked through the park. Today, I bring my dog along and enjoy his company as we walk through the park or neighborhood.

Get moving!! It really will help you feel better.

Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt

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