I never realized the importance of getting enough exercise until I couldn’t exercise for a few months. Here’s what I learned about the mental self-care benefits of exercise!
Getting Enough Exercise and Your Mental Health
“I just found out I have lupus,” I told a friend I hadn’t seen in several years.
“Oh, I’m so sorry,” she said. She shook her head in sympathy. “What big changes will this bring to your life? This must be devastating news.”
I laughed, and she looked taken aback by my reaction. “Actually, I’m pretty excited to know what’s been intermittently wrong with me for the past 20 years. At times, I’ve wondered if I somehow generated episodes of debilitating aches and pains in my head, because doctors could never quite pin down what ailed me. It’s a relief to name the problem.”
“I didn’t realize you’ve had problems for that long,” she said. “You look so healthy and fit I didn’t realize you struggled. How did the doctors finally figure it out?”
“I read The Body Keeps the Score and discovered autoimmune diseases often arise after adults experience some kind of trauma. I suffered from caregiver trauma during Pedro’s cancer year, so I started researching autoimmune diseases and made an appointment with a rheumatologist.”
We chatted a bit more about trauma, autoimmune diseases, and how the body has some strange reactions to trauma. After we said our goodbyes, I thought about the connection between my body and my mind. Even during the flares of lupus (which often resulted in debilitating pain), I still maintained an exercise routine. For weeks it might hurt to move, and burn to lie down. But at least I could still walk (even if only at a sloth’s pace).
When I ruptured a ligament in my ankle last year, I spent two weeks in a recliner. Something I have never done as an adult. I thought I’d crawl out of my skin by the end of the second day. Listen to today’s podcast to hear the rest of the story, and what I learned about the connection between getting enough exercise and mental health.
Exercising in the winter.
You can read more about the connection between mental health and exercise here.
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Come Back Next Week
Next week we’ll delve into the academic self-care benefits of getting enough exercise (they might surprise you!).
AND…the Winner is!
Congratulations to Jenny Ham, a podcast listener from Kansas who won the drawing for the Apple AirPod Pros! Thank you to everyone who listened, participated, and shared on social media!
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