How are you doing? We're in the thick of uncertainty during this global pandemic and one thing we can do to spur positive change during this time is to create healthy habits. Although working out is not always at the top of my list, lately, I've been finding that creating time and space to move my body has been extremely helpful for my overall mental well-being.
A few days ago, I found myself on the Peloton, pushing through a few of those high intensity intervals experts say are so good for us. And in one of the strongest emotional releases I’ve had in a while, Kesha’s song Praying came on and I began to cry hysterically. I couldn’t stop. In that moment, it couldn't have been more clear how connected our minds and bodies truly are. I could feel that I was shedding a lot of the underlying stress, worry and sadness I was holding deep inside. I immediately googled ‘crying while exercising’ to determine whether this was normal.
Turns out it is. And the mind-body connection is very strong. According to psychologist and fitness expert, Janine Delaney, PhD: "With any sort of exercise, there tends to be an emotional connection. Your mind is picking up on what your body is feeling and vise-versa." Amanda Jenny, a trainer at SLT says "It’s not uncommon for a high intensity workout, where your body and mind are brought to exhaustion, to open the flood gates."
So, as we go through these high-intensity times, moving your body isn't just great for your physical strength - it literally increases your immunity. Emotional tears contain hormones, like prolactin, and minerals like manganese and potassium - which lower cholesterol and blood pressure, while increasing our immune system.
Is anyone else feeling hopeful these days? These rays of sunshine are breaking through our olive trees and remind us that despite the difficulties of the past year, we are now on a path back towards the personal connections we need.